Icelandic authors

Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1985. She published her first poems in various periodicals, and frequently participated in readings and various events on the poetry scene. Her first poetry book, Blótgælur (Tender Swear Words, 2007) received the Icelandic Booksellers’ Prize in the category of poetry. In 2011, she followed it up withSkrælingjasýningin (The Barbarian Show). Kristín Svava was active in the poetry collective Nýhil for many years, both as poet and organizer, and was one of the instigators of the Nýhil International Poetry Festival.

Ísak Harðarson was born in Reykjavik in 1956. Ísak´s first collection of poetry, Þriggja orða nafn (A Three Word Name), was published in 1982, and he has since produced five additional poetry books, a collection of short stories, a novel and a memoir. His poetry was published in the collection Ský Fyrir Ský (Cloud For Cloud) in 2000, and has appeared in numerous magazines and collections abroad. Ísak has also translated a number of books into Icelandic, among them The Restraint Of Beasts by the British author Magnus Mills.

Bergsveinn Birgisson (b. 1971) is a PhD in Nordic Studies from the University of Bergen and a writer. He has published the poetry books Íslendingurinn (The Icelander) (1992) andInnrás liljanna (The Invasion of the Lilies) (1997). His first novel, Landslag er aldrei asnalegt (Landscape is Never Corny) (2003) received a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize, and Handbók um hugarfar kúa – Skáldfræðisaga (A Manual On the Disposition of Cows) followed in 2009. Bergsveinn’s latest novel, Svar við bréfi Helgu (A Reply to Helga’s Letter), was nominated for the 2010 Icelandic Literary Prize.

Hallgrímur Helgason was born in Reykjavík in 1959. His first novel, Hella, was published in 1990, and he has since published six more, as well as one collection of poetry. His novel 101 Reykjavik (1996) attracted immediate attention and was subsequently translated throughout Scandinavia, Europe, and England. In 1999, it was nominated for the Nordic Council´s Literary Prize. Hallgrímur´s diverse body of work also includes plays for radio and the stage, essays on society and culture for various media, as well as stand-up comedy. As a visual artist, Hallgrímur has had over 20 solo exhibitions in Iceland, Boston, New York, Paris, and Malmo, and has been included in over thirty collective exhibitions across the globe.

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is an Icelandic poet, novelist and translator. He works with performance and sound-poetry, and regularly appears at poetry and music festivals. In recent years he has explored the possibilities inherent in the European and North-American avant-garde traditions, and focused on disassembling language into its visual, social and linguistic units. Eiríkur is also a founding member of the Nýhil poetry collective, and received the 2008 Icelandic Translation Prize for his translation of Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. Eiríkur’s most recent book is the novel Gæska (Kindness, 2009). His second novel, Eitur fyrir byrjendur (Poison for Beginners), was published in Germany in 2010, as Gift für Anfänger, by Berlin-based publishers Kozempel & Timm, and is forthcoming in Swedish from Rámus. Eiríkur’s poetry and essays have been published in eleven languages.

Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1972. She has worked in the field of literature and visual arts for some years. Her autobiographical novel Opnun Kryppunnar(Opening the Hump) was published in 2004. She has translated and edited various literary works, and organized diverse arts projects, including the New York and Reykjavík-based arts space Dandruff Space and Shroud, in collaboration with archaeologist Uggi Ævarsson. Her latest novel, Heim til míns hjarta (Home to my Heart), was published in 2009.

Ragna Sigurðardóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1962. She published the bookletStefnumót (Date) in 1987. Fallegri en flugeldar (More Beautiful than Fireworks, 1989) and27 herbergi (27 Rooms, 1991) followed. In 1993 she published the novel Borg (City), earning her considerable attention and a nomination for The Icelandic Literature Prize. Her latest novel, published in 2009 is Hið fullkomna landslag (The Perfect Landscape). Ragna has also contributed articles to newspapers and magazines, and is an art critic for the daily newspaper Morgunblaðið.

Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir was born in 1949 in Hafnarfjörður. Her first novel, Mávahlátur(Seagull’s Laughter) was published in 1995. The book was adapted for the stage and performed in the Reykjavík City Theatre in 1998. A film adaption, directed by Ágúst Guðmundsson, premiered in 2001 and received a number of Edda Awards that same year. Her historical novels, Karítas án titils (Karitas, Untitled) and Óreiða á striga (Chaos on Canvas), have cemented her reputation as one of Iceland’s foremost authors, and have been widely translated in Europe, as have her other novels. Her latest, Karlsvagninn (The Big Dipper) was published in 2009 and as nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize.

Pétur Gunnarsson was born in Reykjavík in 1947. His first work, the poetry bookSplunkunýr dagur (A Brand New Day) was published in 1973. He had previously published poems in the literary journal Tímarit Máls og menningar. The novel Punktur punktur komma strik appeared in 1976 to acclaim, the first of four books about the boy Andri. The last book in the series, Sagan öll (The Whole Story), was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 1987. Pétur has produced a number of other novels, two of which have been nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize. He has also translated work by foreign authors, notably Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and a part of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

Bjarni Bjarnason was born in Reykjavík in 1965.  In 1989 Bjarni produced his first book of poetry, Upphafið (The Beginning), and followed it up with the prose poetry collection Ótal kraftaverk (Countless Miracles) later that same year. He has since produced a number of other poetry books, as well as short stories and novels. Bjarni’s second novel, Endurkoma Maríu (The Return of the Divine Mary) was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 1996 and two years later he received the Tómas Guðmundsson Award for the novelBorgin bak við orðin (The City Behind the Words). Bjarni has also received a short story award from the Icelandic Broadcasting Service, and his novel Mannætukonan og maður hennar (The Cannibal Lady and her Man) won the Halldór Laxness Literature Award in 2001. His latest novel is Leitin að Audrey Hepburn (The Search for Audrey Hepburn,2009).


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