From the author of the prize-winning As the Women Lay Dreaming comes a remarkable ‘unreliable biography’ of Karl Kjerúlf Einarsson: an artist and an adventurer, a charlatan and a swindler, forever in search of Atlantis.
As a child in the windswept, fog-bound Faroe Islands in the late nineteenth century, Karl Einarsson believes he is special, destined for a life of art and adventure. As soon as he can, he sets out for Copenhagen and beyond, styling himself as the Count of St. Kilda. He’s an observer and citizen of nowhere, a serial swindler of aristocrats and Nazis, fishermen and fops.
But when his adventures find him in 1930s Berlin, he is forced for the first time to reckon with something much bigger than himself. As the Nazis rise to power around him, his wilful ignorance becomes unwitting complicity, even betrayal.
Based on a true story, this is a fantastical tale of island life, of those who leave and those who stay behind, and the many dangers of delusions and false identities.