W. D. Valgardson is author of the Canadian classic Gentle Sinners (1980) in addition to The Girl with the Botticelli Face (1992), four short story collections, two collections of poetry and several books for children. Among his numerous awards are the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (The Girl With the Botticelli Face) and the Books in Canada First Novel Award for Gentle Sinners. Currently he lives in Victoria, British Columbia and is the editor of Lögberg-Heimskringla, the Icelandic Community newspaper in Canada.
A land of volcanoes, geothermal pools, and barren wilderness, Iceland is full of mists and mystery. For a thousand years, its inhabitants passed down oral histories that included fantastical fables as a way to understand their strange land. For settlers escaping starvation in the wake of volcanic eruptions and economic hardship, Manitoba's Interlake area held further mystery.