New stars 

The Icelandic Literature Prize was established in 1989, 34 years ago on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Association of Icelandic Book Publishers. And it was so positive and good for Icelandic literature that the big names didn’t necessarily win, we got new ones. Not even the Prime Minister won, she was nominated for the crime story Reykjavík written with Ragnar Jónasson. A good thriller. The book of the year was Lungu by Pedro Gunnlaugur Garcia. As the jury says; Here, a new tone is struck in Icelandic fiction-making with a magical narrative joy that effortlessly and smoothly moves between the deepest emotions and conflicts to adventurous moments of joy with a mythical twist – so that even the greatest tragedies benefit from the joy. This is his second novel. Blóðdropinn, for the best crime story, was awarded to Skúli Sigurðsson for the book Stóri bróðir. His first. In the category of children’s and young people’s books, Arndís Þórarinsdóttir won an award for her book Kollhnís. Her second book, and second literary award. In the category of non-fiction books and publications of a general nature, Ragnar Stefánsson won an award for his book Hvenær kemur sá stóri? Predicting earthquakes. Ragnar is not a writer, but one of our main experts in earthquakes and the activities that take place deep down in our earth, this award-winning author in his mid-nineties is always called Ragnar Skjálfti.

The award ceremony took place at Bessastadir, broadcasted live on RÚV

The award

Prize winners, Skúli Sigurðsson far left, then Arndís Þórarinsdóttir, Ragnar Stefánsson and Pedro Gunnlaugur Garcia

Prize winners together with the presidential couple on the far left, and then the Minister of Education Lilja Alfreðsdóttir next on the right together with Heiðar Ingi Svansson, chairman of Icelandic Book Publishers on the far right


Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson

24/01/2023 : A7R IV : FE 1.2/50mm GM