50 Icelandic books recently published in German

7. September, 2020 News

Icelandic authors are invariably frequent visitors to literary events all over Germany. In the past three years more than fifty books have been translated from Icelandic into German and published, or are due for publication, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

One of the roles of the Icelandic Literature Center is to promote Icelandic literature abroad and increase its distribution. That work has yielded results, as witness for instance the avid interest in Icelandic literature around the world, including Germany.

Iceland's participation as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011 attracted widespread attention, and that has been a major factor in the popularity and distribution of Icelandic literature in German-speaking countries and elsewhere. Icelandic literature was systematically promoted in connection with the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011, and in the lead-up to Iceland's role at the fair the number of translations increased considerably. Publication of Icelandic works in German has been flourishing ever since.

Translations into German

Many translations are being made from Icelandic into Germany at this time: more than 50 books over the past three years. Grants from the Icelandic Literature Center play a crucial role here.

See below a list of translations which have recently been published, or are due for publication in the near future, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The list is diverse: fiction, crime stories, books for children and young readers, poetry, and general interest publications. So it is fair to say that the publication of Icelandic books in German is flourishing.

Translators are key

The popularity of Icelandic books in German is not least due to the work of diligent translators who carry Icelandic authors' reputations to other countries and promote them to interested publishers and readers. On the Icelandic Literature Center's translators' website you can find the leading translators of Icelandic literature into German, with information about them and their translations.

Click here to see an interview with translator Tina Flecken, who talks about how she came to be interested in Icelandic language and literature.

Literary events in Germany

Many Icelandic authors have a loyal readership in Germany. They appear regular at literary festivals and other events in Germany – often with the involvement of the Icelandic Literature Center.

A major event is the Leipzig literary festival, to which Icelandic authors are invited every year. They have also been frequent visitors at ilb (International Literature Festival Berlin), and authors from Iceland often appear at Stuttgarter Buchwochen and Karlsruher Bücherschau and at Nordic Literary Days at Literaturhaus in Hamburg; and regular events and readings are hosted at the Icelandic Embassy in Berlin, to name but a few examples.

Coming up in Berlin and Bremerhaven

Andri Snær Magnason will be a guest of ilb (International Literature Festival Berlin), which opens on 9 September. On 11 September he will take part in a programme on the theme VISIONS OF BIOECONOMY. Events will also be streamed on the festival's website. Icelandic-Palestinian author Mazen Maarouf is also a guest of this year's festival. He will talk about his book Brandarar handa byssumönnum on 17 September.

In Bremerhaven the exhibition Hafið – Reflections of the Sea opens in October. It was previously on display earlier this year at Felleshus, the cultural centre of the Nordic embassies in Berlin. Among those with works in the exhibition are authors Andri Snær Magnason, Auður Jónsdóttir, Hallgrímur Helgason, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir, Sjón and Steinunn Sigurðardóttir. Curator is Eva Þengilsdóttir.

Few people are travelling these days, due to the present situation, but hopefully that will soon change, so that authors will be able to venture abroad once more to promote their books and meet their readers. And in the meantime, there are plenty of their books to read in German translation!

These are some of the recent and upcoming translations into German:


  • Ósjálfrátt (transl. Kristof Magnusson) & Stjóri skjálfti (transl. Tina Flecken) by Auður Jónsdóttir. Publisher BTB/Randon House.
  • Ungfrú Ísland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, translator Tina Flecken. Publisher Insel Verlag.
  • Lifandilífslækur & Landslag er aldrei asnalegt by Bergsveinn Birgisson, translated by Elenore Gudmundsson. Publisher Residenz Verlag.
  • Stormfuglar & Óvinafagnaður by Einar Kárason, translated by Kristof Magnusson. Publisher Btb/Random House.
  • Hundadagar by Einar Már Guðmundsson, translated by Betty Wahl. Publisher: BTB/Randon House.
  • Skegg Raspútíns by Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, translator Anika Wolff. Publisher Btb/Random House.
  • Sextíu kíló af sólskini by Hallgrímur Helgason, translated by Karl-Ludwig Wetzig. Publisher Klett Cotta.
  • Svartalogn by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, translator Tina Flecken. Publisher Krüger Verlag.
  • Vonarlandið by Kristín Steinsdóttir, translator Anika Wolff, publisher C.H. Beck.
  • Syndafallið & Bréf til mömmu by Mikael Torfason, translator Tina Flecken, publisher Stroux edition.
  • Pater Jón Sveinsson - Nonni by Gunnar F. Guðmundsson, translator Gert Kreutzer. Publisher: Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln.
  • Handbók um minni og gleymsku by Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson. Translators Wolfgang Schiffer & Jón Thor Gíslason. Publisher Elif verlag.
  • Saga Ástu by Jón Kalman Stefánsson, translated by Karl-Ludwig Wetzig. Publisher Piper Verlag.
  • Eyland by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir, translator Tina Flecken, publisher Suhrkamp.
  • CoDex 1962 / Rökkurbýsnir / Skugga-Baldur by Sjón, translated by Betty Wahl. Publisher S. Fischer Verlag.
  • Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda (Legendary Sagas), translated by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Simek et al. Publisher Verlag GmbH & Co. KG.
  • Nautið & Svartigaldur by Stefán Máni, translator Karl-Ludwig Wetzig. Publisher Amazon Crossing.

Scholarly works and general interest

  • Um tímann og vatnið by Andri Snær Magnason, translated by Tina Flecken. Publisher Suhrkamp.
  • Undur Mývatns – um fugla, flugur, fiska og fólk by Unnur Jökulsdóttir. Translator Tina Flecken. Publisher Insel Verlag.
  • Heiða – fjalldalabóndinn by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, translated by Tina Flecken. Publisher Hanser Verlag.


  • Myrkrið veit / Petsamo / Þýska húsið / Stúlkan hjá brúnni by Arnaldur Indriðason, translated by Annika Wolff. Publisher Bastei Lübbe.
  • Gildran / Netið / Búrið by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, translator Anika Wolff. Publisher DuMont Buchverlag GmbH & Co. KG.
  • Dimma / Drungi / Mistur / Andköf by Ragnar Jónasson. Publisher Btb/Random House.
  • Gatið / Brúðan / Aska / Auðnin / Sér grefur gröf / Þriðja táknið by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Translator Tina Flecken. Publisher Btb/Random House.


  • Leðurjakkaveður by Fríða Ísberg. Publisher Elif Verlag.
  • frelsi / smáa letrið by Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir. Translators Jón Thor Gíslason & Wolfgang Schiffer. Publisher Elif Verlag.
  • Ljóð muna rödd by Sigurður Pálsson. Translators: Jón Thor Gíslason & Wolfgang Schiffer. Publisher: Elif Verlag.
  • Bewegliche Berge by Sjón, translators Tina Flecken & Betty Wahl, publisher Edition Rugerup.

  • Hugástir by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir. Translator Klaus Jurgen Liedtke. Publisher Kleinheinrich.
  • Selected poetry by Hjörtur Pálsson, translated and selected by Gert Kreutzer. Publisher United p.c.

Books for children and young readers

  • Nikky og slóð hvítu fjaðranna by Brynja Sif Skúladóttir. Translator Ursula Giger. Publisher Verlag Richard Gautschi.

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