Eliza Reid. Secrets of the Strakkar: Iceland's Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World (Sourcebooks, $26.99 Unsigned books).
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Iceland is the best place on earth to be a woman—but why?For the past twelve years, the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Iceland number one on its list of countries closing the gap in equality between men and women. What is it about Iceland that makes many women's experience there so positive? Why has their society made such meaningful progress in this ongoing battle, from electing the world's first female president to passing legislation specifically designed to help even the playing field at work and at home? And how can we learn from what Icelanders have already discovered about women's powerful place in society and how increased fairness benefits everyone?
Eliza Reid, the First Lady of Iceland, examines her adopted homeland's attitude toward women—the deep-seated cultural sense of fairness, the influence of current and historical role models, and, crucially, the areas where Iceland still has room for improvement. Reid's own experience as an immigrant from small-town Canada who never expected to become a first lady is expertly interwoven with interviews with dozens of sprakkar ("extraordinary women") to form the backbone of an illuminating discussion of what it means to move through the world as a woman, and how the rules of society play more of a role in who we view as "equal" than we may understand. Secrets of the Sprakkar is a powerful and atmospheric portrait of a tiny country that could lead the way forward for us all.
Eliza Reid is a journalist, editor, and cofounder of the annual Iceland Writers Retreat. Eliza grew up on a hobby farm near Ottawa, Canada, and moved to Iceland in 2003, five years after meeting the man who later became her husband, Gudni Th. Jóhannesson. When he took office as President of Iceland on August 1, 2016, Eliza became the country’s first lady. In that capacity, she has been active in promoting gender equality, entrepreneurship and innovation, tourism and sustainability, as well as the country’s writers and rich literary heritage.
YRSA SIGURDARDÓTTIR (pronounced UR-suh SIG-ur-dar-daughter) lives with her family in Reykjavík; she is also a director of one of Iceland's largest engineering firms. Her work is found on bestseller lists all over the world, and films are currently in production for several of her books. Her titles include, The Day is Dark and Ashes to Dust.