Deep North - Stories from Iceland
Iceland Review publishes translations of short stories by Icelandic authors.
Deep dives into current events, contemporary issues, and the lesser-seen sides of Icelandic society.
Interviews with artists, scholars, politicians or other notable figures in Iceland.
View Iceland through the lens of some of the country's most accomplished photographers.
Looking back in Iceland's history, at the curious incidents, colourful characters, and heroic deeds that shaped the nation.
It was a season of debauchery. A season of cocktail-filled nights and subpar parenting. A season of good-natured rationalisation. “The good thing about drinking while raising two young boys,” I observed, “is that I have four hands. Sometimes six.” I
The motorsport Formula Offroad began in Iceland in the 1960s. The history of the sport is traced to rescue teams,
For the third year in a row, there’s a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, only a stone’s throw away
The sensationalisation of tragedy In 2018, the New York Times published an essay by 17-year-old Rachel Chestnut, one of the
Last spring, journalists and activists gathered in a quiet fjord an hour’s drive north of Reykjavík. There was a small
It’s the first day of July and when the photographer picks me up, it’s pouring rain. Summer has yet to
Austur-Meðalholt Hannes Lárusson grew up in a cluster of turf houses on the farmstead Austur-Meðalholt in Southwest Iceland. His ancestors
Under the regular ascent and descent of Keflavík jet traffic, out past the old American radar stations, at the northwestern tip of the Reykjanes peninsula, sits the Suðurnes Science and Learning Centre. Much like the airport terminal a few kilometres from here, this spit of low-flung land is a place where many visitors to this […]
In highly uncertain times, when hunger, illness, injury and death can strike at any moment, it is a very human trait to appeal to a higher power. Lutheran Reverend Jón Steingrímsson was not unusual in this regard when, in the beginning of June 1783, he began to see clear signs of what would become one […]
In centuries gone by, people would gather at one farm and whoever owned instruments would play them. There was no way to get home after dark, so dancing until the sun rose again was the only way to party. They still have dances in the countryside, but the true, original sveitaball (country ball) is a […]
As we walked home, I felt like the night had created this stillness just for us. For us and no one else, perhaps as a sort of consolation; there wasn’t another soul around, in any case. We walked as quickly as our tired feet could manage in the middle of the night and probably looked […]
A few years ago, Iceland instituted a four-day work week. It’s gone off without a hitch and everyone’s been happier since. At least that’s the story that has spread through foreign media outlets. The truth is much more complex. Firstly, it’s not a four-day work week, but a 4.5-day work week. Secondly, it technically only […]
This summer, a new luxury hotel in Iceland opened for travellers. In addition to providing “deluxe rooms and luxury suites for lavish explorers,” the hotel also has a sleek, modern bistro with seating for 80, a luxury spa bath, and “alpine-style seating” with views of the surroundings. However, travellers from the capital area may have […]
Sunna Dís Másdóttir is a member of the Impostor Poets, a women’s poetry collective, with whom she has published the poetry collections Ég er ekki að rétta upp hönd, Ég er fagnaðarsöngur and Nú sker ég netin mín. Their novel Olía (Oil) was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2021. Other members of the […]
According to data from the Directorate of Health, 34.2% of Icelanders between the ages of 18 and 69 smoked cigarettes on a daily basis in 1989. In 2022, 23 years later, that percentage had shrunk to an impressive 6.3%. This decline is not, however, so straightforward as it may appear, for the introduction of new […]
It’s a cold spring day in Reykjavík and winds buffet optimistic tourists in flip-flops. Above, the sky hangs low, an endless expanse of grey. Normal enough for May. Today, however, bulletproof, black limousines loiter in front of Harpa and reports of cyberattacks filter out of Alþingi. A helicopter belches shimmering-hot wakes of exhaust as it […]
It’s just after six in the morning and Guðmundur Geirdal is pouring his first cup of coffee. It’s spring, so the sun has already been up for a couple of hours but a light veiling of clouds means that there’s a fresh snap to the air. Down by the Arnarstapi harbour, the squeaky cries of the seabirds are loud enough to drown out the murmured chatting of the other fishermen preparing their boats for the day.
The ideal Icelandic hot tub, which takes the shape of a circle, finds its prototype in Reykholt, West Iceland. It’s there, on the historical property of writer, historian, and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, that a wooden doorway, leading from an underground
The Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection, located at two institutions in Iceland and Denmark, is on UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. It was established by Árni Magnússon (1663-1730), who travelled widely across Iceland collecting vellum manuscripts and books stretching back to the 12th century. On his deathbed, he bequeathed his collection to the University of Copenhagen […]