Icelandic Authors 2013

AudurJonsdottir_09Auður Jónsdóttir was born in 1973. She is an author and a freelance journalist and has written articles, columns and interviews for a number of magazines and newspapers and for radio.

Auður’s first novel, Stjórnlaus lukka (Bliss) appeared in 1998, and was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize the same year. Since then, she has produced more fiction and books for children and teenagers; including Skrýtnastur er maður sjálfur (One Self is the Strangest of All) from 2001 in which she portrays her grandfather, Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness. This book was also nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize, and proved very popular with bookshops and libraries.

Her novel Fólkið í kjallaranum (The People in the Basement) won the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2004 and was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2005. Tryggðarpantur (Deposit) was also nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2006. Her latest novel Ósjálfrátt (Secretaries to the Spirits) was awarded the Women’s Literature Prize in 2012 and was also nominated for the DV Cultural Prize for Literature.  Auður’s books have been published in German, Danish, Swedish and Dutch.

Eyrún-létt-724x1024Eyrún Ingadóttir, historian and writer, was born in 1967. She has published historical pieces, biographies and other writings, and her first novel, Ljósmóðirin (The Midwife), came out in 2012. It is a historical narrative about Þórdís Símonardóttir, a midwife who worked in Eyrarbakki, a tiny village on Iceland’s south coast, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Eyrún’s book sheds a light on Þórdís’s life and work, but also describes the atmosphere of the time in Iceland. The book was well received when it came out, and was nominated for the Women’s Literature Prize 2012.

GERÐUR KRISTNÝGerður Kristný was born in 1970. She writes for children as well as adults and has produced novels, poetry, short stories, plays and more.

Her work has received recognition and numerous awards, amongst which were the Children’s Choice Book Prize for Marta Smarta (Smart Marta) in 2003, the Halldór Laxness Literature Prize in 2004 for her novel Bátur með segli og allt (A Boat with a Sail and All), the Icelandic Journalism Award for Myndina af pabba – Sögu Thelmu (Portrait of my Father – My Story) in 2005 and the West Nordic Children’s Literature Prize in 2010 for Garðurinn (The Garden). The same year she was awarded the Jón úr Vör Poetry Award and the Guðmundur Böðvarsson Poetry Prize.

In 2007, the poetry book Höggstaður (Soft Spot) was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Award, and Gerður received the prize in 2010 for her poetry book Blóðhófni (Bloodhoof). The writer found her inspiration in the story of another Gerður, Gymisdóttir – the daughter of Gymir, a heroine from the Skírnismál, an ancient Eddic poem. Her most recent poetry book, Strandir (Shores), came out in 2012.

Gerður Kristný’s works have been published in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, English, Esperanto, Bengali and Hindi.

Gudmundur_Andri_2011-1024x509Guðmundur Andri Thorsson was born in 1957. For many years he worked as a journalist and literary critic at different newspapers, produced a popular radio show, worked as a publishing director, and also as an editor for the Mál og Menning literary journal at two different periods, first from 1986-1989 and again from 2009.

Guðmundur Andri’s first novel Mín káta angist (My Wonderful Angst) somewhat different in tone from his previous writings, appeared in 1998. Since then, he has written several novels, most recently Valeyrarvalsinn (The Valeyri Waltz) in 2011. He was awarded the DV Cultural Prize for Literature for his book Íslenska drauminn (The Icelandic Dream) in 1991, which was also nominated for the Icelandic Literature Award the same year.

The novel Íslandsförin (Journey to Iceland) was nominated for the same award in 1996. Valeyrarvalsinn is nominated for the 2013 Nordic Council’s Literature Award.

Guðmundur Andri’s books have been published in German and Finnish and Valeyrarvalsinn will soon be available in Germany, France, Denmark and Norway.

Hermann-StefánssonHermann Stefánsson was born in 1968, and studied literature in Iceland and Spain. Alongside writing, Hermann has worked at almost everything under the sun, but in recent years he has mainly devoted himself to writing, and published works of all kinds in different places.

His first book Sjónhverfingar (Illusions), published by Bjartur in 2003, mixed academic research and fiction. The novel Níu þjófalyklar (Nine Thief’s Keys) came out a year later, and since then Hermann has written, among others, the novel Stefnuljós (Turn Signal), and the detective story Morð fyrir luktum dyrum (Murder Behind Locked Doors), as well as three poetry books, Borg í þoku (A City in a Fog), Högg á vatni (Knock on Water) and Ugluturn (Owl’s Tower). He is also the author of plays, texts in prose and a number of essays. Hermann is a musician and has released songs and lyrics, both alone and in collaboration with others. The novel Algleymi (Euphoria) from 2008 came out in Germany in 2011 to good reviews. In 2013, Hermann published the novel Hælið (The Asylum) in the first issue of the literary series 1005.

He has also translated works by numerous foreign writers, including Insentatez (Fásinna in Icelandic, Senselessness in English) by Horacio Castellanos Moya, who was a guest at the 2011 Reykjavik International Literary Festival.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHugleikur Dagsson, an artist and writer, was born in 1977. He has developed a unique style in his comic strips, simultaneously cynical and straightforward. Hugleikur has published numerous books, which have attracted much attention.

His first book Elskið okkur (Love Us) was self-published in 2002, and followed by Drepið okkar (Kill Us) in 2003 and Ríðið okkur (Fuck Us) in 2004. In 2005, JPV started Publishing Hugleikur’s books and many have come out since then, including more in the same series.

Hugleikur’s work has been published widely, for example in the most recent issue of the comics magazine Gisp! (2013). The story of Garðarshólm appeared on the pages of the 2008 and 2009 issues of the Icelandic telephone directory, and Hugleikur has also illustrated a textbook for high school.

His latest comic Enn fleiri dægurlög (Still More Popular Hits) came out in 2012.

Hugleikur’s books have been published in Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic and they have also been published in English.

RunarHelgi_©Jón-Páll-Vignisson-682x1024Rúnar Helgi Vignisson, a writer and translator, was born in Ísafjörður in 1959. Rúnar Helgi completed an M.A. in Literature at the University of Iowa in 1987 and is a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Iceland. He has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, and has worked for the radio.

His first novel, Ekkert slor (No Mean Thing), came out in 1984. As well as his novels, he is also the author of short stories and the translator of numerous foreign literary works by American, Australian and South-African writers. His book Nautnastuldur (Indulgence Denied) was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 1990. In 2005, he received the Icelandic Translation Prize for Barndómur, his translation of Boyhood by J.M. Coetzee, and subsequently Coetzee was a guest at the 2007 Reykjavik International Literary Festival. In 2006, Rúnar Helgi received Reykjavík City’s Educational Council’s Children’s Literature Prize for his Icelandic translation of Sunwing by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel.

163269.tif-1024x682  Stefan ManiStefán Máni was born in 1970. His first novel came out in 1996, and since then he has published eleven others, the latest being Úlfshjarta (Wolf Heart), published in 2013, somewhat different in tone from previous works, and written for young adults.

Stefán Máni’s books have been published in Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Turkey and Australia. In 2012, the book Black’s Game, published in 2004, served as a basis for the eponymous film, and was very well received. There have been talks about negotiating the film rights for Húsið (The House) from 2012 and Úlfshjarta.

For Skipið (The Ship) from 2007 and Húsið, Stefán Máni won the Drop of Blood, a crime fiction award hosted by the Crime Writers of Iceland.

Both books were nominated to represent Iceland for the Glass Key, a Nordic crime fiction award.

He is now working on his thirteenth novel, to be published in the autumn.

SÖLVI BJÖRNSölvi Björn Sigurðsson was born in 1978. He published the literary magazine Blóðberg in 1998 with Sigurður Ólafsson, and in 2001 he edited and oversaw the anthology  Ljóð ungra skálda (Young Writers’ Poetry) which was published by Mál og menning. He was following in the footsteps of Magnus Ásgeirsson who had produced a poetry book under the same title in 1954. In addition to editorial work, Sölvi Björn works in translating and writes about literature.

He has published both poetry and novels. His first poetry book Ást og frelsi (Love and Freedom) came out in 2000, and in 2003 his first novel Radíó Selfoss (Radio Selfoss) was well received.

In 2006 he published his novel Fljótandi heimur (Floating World). Three years later, it was followed by Síðustu dagar móður minnar (The Last Days of My Mother), which was acclaimed by both critics and readers. The book was later published in Danish and is to be published in the United States. In 2011, Sölvi Björn aroused much attention with his historical novel Dálítill leiðarvísir um heldri manna eldunaraðferð og gestakomur í Sauðlauksdal: eður hvernig skal sína þjóð upp reisa úr öskustó (Comings and Goings in Sauðlauksdalur). The story is set in 18th century Iceland. The nation is going through dark times, however hope for better days lies with Björn Halldórsson, a blind and ageing man who has just returned to his land with the first potatoes to be grown in Iceland.

A new book by Sölvi: two volumes about Icelandic lakes and rivers, Íslensk vatnabók (The Icelandic Water Book), will be published by Sögur in the autumn.

According to the author, the book is as much a tale of adventure as it is a history book about fishermen and explorers, with old stories about escaped fish and fish farmers and all kinds of Icelandic lore, mixed with landscape descriptions and accounts of mysterious events along the lakes and rivers of Iceland.

bókasíðaÞorsteinn from Hamri (1938) has long secured himself a place amongst the leading poets of the Icelandic language. Since he published his first poetry book Í svörtum kufli (In a Black Cassock) in 1958, at only twenty years old, he has developed and refined his style of poetry and it is often said that Þorsteinn’s writing is a perfect fusion between the old poetic tradition and a more contemporary poetic expression, the voice of modernism.

Þorsteinn is also the author of novels and chronicles and has translated a great number of works.He has received several prizes for his works, amongst them the Icelandic Literary Award in 1992 for his book Sæfarinn sofandi (The sleeping Sailor). He was also nominated for the same prize in 1995 for Það talar í trjánum (Speaking in The Trees) and in 1999 for Meðan þú vaktir. Þorsteinn was presented with the Jónas Hallgrímsson Award on  Icelandic Language Day in 2009.

Þorsteinn’s works have been translated into a number of languages including German, English, French, Italian, Danish, Swedish and Chinese, as well as Esperanto and several others.

His 25th poetry book Skessukatlar will be published in the autumn.