The Bridge – Reviews of Icelandic Literature in Translation

The Bridge strives to present original reviews for Icelandic literature available in the English language.

The Bridge is an independent platform hosted by the Literature Web in cooperation with the Reykjavík City Library and Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature. All content is created and owned by Björn Halldórsson, Senior Editor.

 

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The Shadow Killer is firmly rooted in 1940s Reykjavík—a turbulent time when British occupational forces were being replaced by the Americans.

the outlaw
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In the final instalment in Jón Gnarr‘s auto-fictitious memoirs of his upbringing as an adolescent ne’er-do-well punk rocker, his parents have given up on setting him straight and sent him off to...

the pirate
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In The Pirate, Comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr continues his bleakly hysterical autobiographical writings about his early years as a redheaded enfant terrible cast adrift between...

the indian
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The Indian is the first book in Jón Gnarr’s trilogy of auto-fictions that span his childhood and formative years. The books are narrated by the young Jón and follow his development from a helter-...

Reykjavík Nights eftir Arnald Indriðason
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Arnaldur successfully pulls off the stunt recently brought into vogue by authors such as Lynda La Plante and Colin Dexter; travelling back to his iconic detective’s early days on the job as a...

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Published in the year 2000, Jar City was an outrider for the explosion of Icelandic crime fiction which turned the previously fringe genre on the Icelandic publishing scene into a permanent...

Betrayal
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In her first book after closing her Reykjavík Noir Trilogy, Lilja Sigurðardóttir tries her hand at a new form: The political thriller. In her signature multi-perspective prose, the book follows a...

the casket of time

More fairy tale than fantasy, The Casket of Time presents us with a familiar world, where people harangue themselves with worry about “the situation” while doing naught to amend it. Meanwhile,...

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In the final instalment of her Reykjavík Noir Trilogy, we find former bankster Agla behind bars, serving a sentence for her part in the financial shenanigans that lead to the collapse of the...

Heiða : a shepherd at the edge of the world
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In this slim and heavily illustrated book, novelist and poet Steinunn Sigurðardóttir reinvigorates the traditional Icelandic pastoral memoir by telling the true story of Heiða Guðný Ásgeirsdóttir...

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In Snare, readers first became acquainted with Sonja, a single mom who becomes a reluctant yet extremely capable drug mule in order to secure the funds to fight for custody of her son. In...

Narrator: Sögumaður Braga Ólafssonar í enskri þýðingu Lytton Smith
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The universe of Bragi Ólafsson’s fiction is an unstable one, where character traipse from one book to another seemingly by their own, stubborn insistence. Due to their inaction and conflict-...

Snare
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Sonja’s life is in tatters. After the breakdown of her marriage – when her husband catches her in bed with another woman – she loses custody of her son and is placed in dire financial straits....

The Good Lover
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Karl Ástuson has always gotten on well with women. Still, his love life, though active, cannot truly be called passionate. He is always on guard, unmarried and without girlfriends, not willing to...

Yo Yo
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Perhaps because Iceland often feels more like a small town than a country, Icelandic readers are quick to jump to conclusions when a local author puts out a new book, attributing characters to the...

Place of the Heart
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Hoping to save her from the clutches of the Reykjavík drug scene, single mother Harpa decides to relocate her daughter Edda Sólveig to the old family homestead on other side of the country. On...

the story of the blue planet

This deceptively simple book carries with it a profound message of environmentalism and global empathy. It should be a delight to read to children due to its straight-forward yet whimsical...

Being a writer in a country that prides itself on having an abnormally high percentage of writers can lead to a unique type of neurosis. This existential-imposter syndrome is the world of Sturla...

Published two years before the financial crash in 2008, Dreamland is something of an oracle document. It brings attention to the modern Icelander’s divided self; caught between the fast times of...

This black comedy of errors has its narrator, an unassuming young man named Emil, taking the drastic decision to hide himself in order to avoid Havard, a reckless friend from his past. This leads...