Deep North - Stories from Iceland

Fiction

Iceland Review publishes translations of short stories by Icelandic authors.

Features

Deep dives into current events, contemporary issues, and the lesser-seen sides of Icelandic society.

Interview

Interviews with artists, scholars, politicians or other notable figures in Iceland.

Photography

View Iceland through the lens of some of the country's most accomplished photographers.

Looking Back

Looking back in Iceland's history, at the curious incidents, colourful characters, and heroic deeds that shaped the nation.

Issues

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Cream of the Crop

Row after row of steep but flat-topped mountains, interspersed with deep fjords. There’s barely enough land in between to make up a coastline, let alone farmland. But on the green patches between the cliffs and the waves, there are still

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Material World

When Canadian media theorist and philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote that “the medium is the message,” he did not mean that

paganism iceland

Pagan Poetry

Ásatrú Society, how may I help you?” This was neither the voice of a gruff metalhead nor the voice of

Mad World

“Exceptionally rudimentary software” On Friday, November 11, I attended an appointment with a psychologist in Reykjavík. For weeks leading up

Staying Power

Elsa Pálsdóttir was doing what she loved most: Deadlifting. As she rested between sets, she chit-chatted with a man of

Disaster on Dark Seas

U-300 On the morning of November 20, 1944, a single U-boat cruised silently at periscope depth beneath the rough waves

Getting the Word Out

The Icelandic Literature Centre awards grants to some 80-100 translations from Icelandic to other languages each year. The number of applications

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The Right to Bear Arms

I’m sitting in a hotel lobby, scribbling some last-minute notes in my notebook before the interview. I look up and notice Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson entering so I raise a hand to let him know I’m here. He waves back, and I get up to greet him. He shakes my hand, and I introduce myself before he points to a small room where we can chat undisturbed. Nothing about this exchange feels remarkable to me, but Guðmundur Felix has a different perspective.

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There and Back Again

“I’m eager to tell you about him.” Everyone loves a good story, especially tales of adventure featuring a dogged, tenacious and sometimes tragic hero. In our day, thanks to more objective research and unflinching writing, heroes have lost much of their shine. Where we once unquestioningly celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh, there is no denying that […]

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Home cook

“We serve cod skin as snacks. The cod skin is salted, dried, and popped, sprinkled with angelica.” Up. Down. Up again. A fleeting moment of calm at the highest point. Down again, tourists whooping as the boat rolls in the waves. I, on the other hand, wasn’t enjoying that lurching feeling in my stomach as […]

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Where there’s fire

“There is a whole range of events that might occur before, during, and after an eruption.” Dr. Sara Barsotti is the co-ordinator of Volcanic Hazards and operational geophysical monitoring at the IMO The eruptions on the Reykanes peninsula in 2021 and 2022 once again propelled Iceland’s volcanoes into the global consciousness. The last time this happened […]

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I will dance again

“I thought I was Mother Mary, I thought I could save the world. It was terrible.” The house in Hveragerði Elísabet is already waiting for me as I pull into the parking space of her row house in Hveragerði.  As I enter her new home, I offer to take off my shoes. But Elísabet instead ushers me […]

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Unsettled

“Nobody lives there. But the highland isn’t empty.” Around the turn of the 10th century, a man named Þórólfur Mostrarskegg sailed from Norway to escape the tyranny of King Haraldur Fairhair, establishing his new farm on Þórsnes, a spit of land on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Þórólfur came ashore, and having surveyed […]

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Love, Bríet

“Is this the smallest stage in the world?  Who’s trying to save money here?”  THE BUS RIDE For the first time in what felt like a long time, I was free. No obligation to stay inside, to put the kids to bed, to return home before some vaguely appointed hour – for it was understood […]

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Kjölur highland road

When and why did Iceland change to driving on the right?

As you might know, the British occupied Iceland during the Second World War in order to secure Allied shipping lanes. While they were here, they built the Reykjavík Airport, Nissen huts, and parts of the road system. However, something many

Gathering

ROUND UP At just before 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning, I drove north to the Svarfaðardalur valley – to attend a roundup. This roundup had nothing to do with a certain carcinogenic pesticide, nor did it involve the hasty collection of suspects during a police raid. The word roundup, when translated from Icelandic, implies the gathering […]

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In Harm’s Way

Gunni Marís On Thursday, November 25, 2021, I left a COVID testing clinic near the Kringlan shopping centre in Reykjavík. Stepping into my car, the phone rang and an unknown number appeared on the screen. I listened as the voice of an old acquaintance, meek but quietly upbeat, worked its way through the speaker. We […]

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Waves crashing over Reykjavík lighthouse

Do hurricanes ever hit Iceland?

The short answer is no. However, the remnants of hurricanes do occasionally make their way up to Iceland. For the most part, by the time they arrive in Iceland, they’re reduced to pressure systems that just bring larger-than-average amounts of rain, but they do sometimes cause more damage. Hurricanes form in unstable air over open […]

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iceland green energy

Electric Motion

Electric vehicles (EVs) are on the rise in Iceland. In 2021 alone, 58% of all cars sold were EVs; today, more than 13% of the country’s total number of passenger vehicles are at least partly electric. Around the globe, the benefits of electric vehicles are being embraced as both environmentally and financially preferable for consumers […]

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