Icelandic Writers Travel the World, Presenting their Work and Meeting their Readers

11. November, 2019 News

The authors promote literature all over the world, appearing every year in different literary events across continents, often with the support and backing of the Icelandic Literature Center.

Icelandic authors travel widely to promote their books, often with the support of the Icelandic Literature Center, and this is an important part of promoting and introducing Icelandic literature abroad. Many interesting literary festivals and other events are held year-round all over the world, where many Icelandic authors participate and discuss their work with new readers. Below is a list of a few:

Festival les Boréales 14 – 24 November

Festival les Boréales; un festival en nord is being held for the 28th time in Normandy in France, from 14 – 24 November. As before the emphasis is on Nordic literature, and this year special focus is on Norway. Three Icelandic authors are participating this time – Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Dagur Hjartarson, and Gyrðir Elíasson. The musician Svavar Knútur will also perform in the festival's music programme.

Recipient of the Nordic Literary Prize

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir is possibly the best traveled Icelandic author this year following receiving the Nordic Council Literature Prize last year for her novel Ör (Hotel Silence). She for instance attended a great literary program in Litteraturhuset in Oslo where she held the opening speech and participated in several events at the Gothenburgh Book Fair. Auður Ava also appeared in Portugal in relation to the publishing of her book in Portuguese, then in the Czech Republic, in several events in France in June, and will be appearing at Les Boreales in Normandy later this month, to name a few events.

Writers nominated for the The Nordic Council Literature Prizes

Kristín Eiríksdóttir, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Ragnheiður Eyjólfsdóttir, and Sigrún Eldjárn were all nominated for the The Nordic Council Literature Prizes this year and took part in the Helsinki Book Fair in October with other nominated authors.

Gothenburgh in September

At the Gothenburgh Book Fair inn September the writers AuðurAva Ólafsdóttir, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Ragnar Jónasson, and Sigrún Eldjárn appeared and received a warm welcome. Over the past nine years a total of 50 Icelandic writers have participated.

Five Authors Took Part in an Honorary Program in Gdansk in Poland

Iceland was the guest of honour at the Gdansk Book Fair last March and the hosts displayed great interest in both Icelandic literature and writers. The authors Hallgrímur Helgason, Einar Kárason, Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir, and Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir were guests of honour at the fair and all took part in a various panel discussions about their books, Icelandic literature, translation, culture, politics, and other questions that the interviewees and guests wanted to ask in the seminars.

Steinunn, Heiða, Lilja, and Ragnar at the Edinburgh Book Festival

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is held every year with participating writers from all over the world, the program me counts over 800 events, and is attended by 250.000 guests. Last August, Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Heiða Ásgeirsdóttir, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, and Ragnar Jónasson took part in an interesting discussion about their books and other things. Lilja and Ragnar have been very popular at Crime Fiction Festivals all over.

Steinunn Sigurðardóttir and Heiða have been invited to appear at various events in different place such as Norway, Berlin and elsewhere in Germany, and the eponymous book about Heiða by Steinunn has been translated into several languages and garnered a lot of attention.

Gerður Kristný and Jón Kalman on the Road

Gerður Kristný Guðjónsdóttir has travelled widely with her work this year, for instance taking part in an event in Wilton's Music Hall in London based on her epic poem Drápa; Gerður recited the poem while an original music score was played. She also visited Finland where she took part in the international book festival in Turku with Jón Kalman Stefánsson, who has also been busy, taking part in events in Hungary, Germany and elsewhere this year.

Sjón on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Sjón has been a guest at events both in Europe and in the United States this year – he for instance appeared at two poetry festivals in Germany, one in Berlin, the other in Bremen, and then he took part in “Against the Grain” programme at the National Sawdust Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, in the States. In addition, he appeared at the Helsinki Book Festival to promote his book CoDex 1962.

Others on the Move…

Among other authors on the move this year are Andri Snær Magnason who appears in many different events in USA in relation to the publication of Tímakistan in English, and Hallgrímur Helgason who for instance took part in the Toronto International Festival of Authors, in addition to events in Norway and more. Sigrún Pálsdóttir visited the United States, Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir went to India, Jón Gnarr to Germany, Halldóra Thoroddsen to Italy and Macedonia, Þórarinn Eldjárn and Fríða Ísberg went to Sweden, and Bergsveinn Birgisson to Italy and Norway, and Haukur Ingvarsson to Belgium – just to name a few.

It is evident that Icelandic authors are welcome guests at international literary events and Icelandic literature is making a name for itself globally. These are just a few examples of writers travelling with the support of the Icelandic Literature Center to promote their translated work abroad.


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