Edward Weinman on the inspiration for his chilling story from 66 degrees North, “Almost a Christmas Miracle.” It’s set in Iceland, where Weinman spent more than a decade writing for magazines and film. Read it here, download it for any device, or gift it to a friend–it’s the holidays, after all.
The idea for this piece came from a story I heard when I first moved to Iceland to work as a magazine journalist for Iceland Review and Atlantica. I drove to a small town in the East Fjords to write a piece about a country doctor who had to travel great distances in a four-wheel drive jeep to treat her patients because she was the only doctor around for miles. Trying to interview locals for the story, I meet up against great resistance. Upon returning to Reykjavik, a friend’s father told me that when he moved from Denmark to Iceland as a little boy the locals treated him like a pariah because he was seen as an outsider. My friend’s father remembered how when he and his mother would walk through town, the locals would stare at them through the windows of their homes. And when he and his mother would wave, the locals would shut their curtains. Witnessing locals wary of outsiders fascinated me. I always wondered why these locals were so reticent to talk to a stranger. I wondered what secrets they must be afraid of revealing. I find this behavior similar to what happens in this country to those considered outsiders, those the locals label as “other.” – EW
EDWARD WEINMAN spent nearly one fourth of his life as an expat on Iceland, enduring many long, dark, cold, windy, gray winters. But he made it out alive, without kids, and having suffered only one nervous breakdown. His debut thriller, The Ring Road, is born out of his life in Reykjavik where he worked as a travel writer. His journalism has been picked up byThe Associated Press and The Sunday Times of London, among others. Edward co-wrote the film A Little Trip to Heaven, a psychological thriller starring Forest Whitaker, Jeremy Renner and Julia Stiles, which screened at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Edward earned his MFA in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson College in Boston.