American visual artist Roni Horn lives and works in New York and Reykjavik. She first visited Iceland in 1975 at age 19, and in 1984 Horn first incorporated words into her visual art. This merging resulted in the publication of Bluff Life (1990), the first in a series of 10 books titled To Place, which focus on Iceland and Horn’s relationship to it. In discussing To Place, Horn has written that “the entrance to all my work is the idea of an encyclopedia of identity.” Horn’s newest book, Island Zombie: Iceland Writings (December 2020, Princeton University Press), is described as follows:
It vividly conveys Horn’s experiences, from the deeply profound to the joyful and absurd. Through powerful evocations of the changing weather and other natural phenomena—the violence of the wind, the often-aggressive birds, the imposing influence of glaciers, and the ubiquitous presence of water in all its variety—we come to understand the author’s abiding need for Iceland, a place uniquely essential to Horn’s creative and spiritual life.
The Power Plant and the Toronto International Festival of Authors co-present this conversation between Roni Horn and American writer Benjamin Moser, winner of a 2020 Pulitzer Prize for the epic biography Sontag: Her Life and Work (2019) that was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the P.E.N./ Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography and was named one of the “Best Books of the Year” by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, O Magazine, and The Seattle Times.