"Yet the man who emerges from this portrait is complicated and real. Hreinsson's Stephansson is proud, questioning and sagacious—an Icelandic heir to Emerson, Whitman or Thoreau. ... A deferential, unsentimental portrait that ably captures Stephansson's life and legacy."
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Review by Judy Sólveig Wilson
This comprehensive biography of Stephan Stephansson is 555 pages long, not including the notes, credits, and index. I thought it would take an awfully long time to read, but surprisingly it did not. It was so interesting and down to earth that I just kept reading and reading. This poet, whether you consider him to be a Canadian, American or Icelandic national treasure, was a fascinating man. I have three of his original books of poetry, but all I really knew about the man himself was that he suffered from insomnia; hence the name Andvokur for that particular series of books.
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Stephansson a pioneer poet of both land and freedom.
Book Review by Lana Michelin - Red Deer Advocate

Stephan Stephansson plowed fields near Markerville by day, and by night penned what are considered by writer John Ralston Saul to be Canada's most important war poems — "or in his case, antiwar poetry."
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Review by William Valgardson
In the 1870's Icelanders began to emigrate. In Iceland times were difficult. Iceland was the poorest country in Europe and Europe was so poor that massive numbers of Europeans were on the move. They were immigrating to places such as Brazil but the greatest number had as their destination, Amerika. Amerika was not a specific geographic place but a direction, a place of rumour, myths, and letters.
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Excerpts from Looking Back Over My Shoulder
Rosa is interesting in her own right. She brings a woman's perspective, not just to being Stephan G's daughter, but to the lives of Icelandic settlers who did not go to New Iceland. It is essential that the lives of the settlers and their descendents outside New Iceland be documented. New Iceland may be the heart of Icelandic immigration in North America but knowing only about the heart without any knowledge of the arms, legs, torso, neck, head leaves one with little knowledge, indeed.
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