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.

Issues

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Shopping malls Iceland

Point of Sale

Reykjavík streetlife is something of an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. In the winter in particular, locals abandon the main street Laugavegur to the droves of travellers, seeking the comfort of home during the dark days. But even during the

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Hörður Kristleifsson @h0rdur

In Full View

Hörður Kristleifsson is a 25-year-old photographer who’s been practising his craft since 2010, when he got his first camera. But

Gunnar Karl Gíslason, head chef at Dill

Chill & Grill, Salt & Sour

In the rhythmic flow of seasons over the stony Icelandic landscape, where the North Atlantic winds carry tales of resilience

Andkristni festival Icelandic Metal

Decades of Darkness

On December 21, the annual black metal festival Andkristni kicked off at the bar and concert venue Gaukurinn in downtown

Ice Guys Icelandic boyband

Melting Hearts

Long in the tooth Jón Jónsson had the idea for Ice Guys in early 2023.  It all began as a

Of the Great Mortality

Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir is a novelist and a journalist living in Reykjavík. Her novels have been translated into many languages,

Icelandic folk dancing, Árbæjarsafn

Keeping in Step

It was a Friday night in Reykjavík, and I was looking for a dance floor. You may expect, dear reader,

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Reykjavík from above, housing crisis Iceland

Short-term Rentals, Long-term Effects

As the Reykjavík peninsula rumbles with volcanic activity, the world’s eyes are once again drawn to Iceland’s nature. This free publicity and the uptick in tourist visits it generates come with a price – and local renters are footing the bill. By now, Icelanders know what to expect in the aftermath of volcanic activity. When […]

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Reykjanes peninsula eruptions

Wall of Fire

Sunday, bloody Sunday On Sunday morning, January 14, around 4:30 AM, Ari Guðmundsson’s phone rang. The Reykjanes peninsula was trembling. Three and a half hours later, it rang again. This time it was Víðir Reynisson, the head of Iceland’s Civil Protection Department. A fissure had opened and an eruption had begun. The long, earthen lava […]

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Karitas Hrundar Palsdottir

A Different Story

It’s early Saturday morning and normally I would have slept through the few hours of scarce brightness that bless us this time of year. During winter, it is far too easy to hibernate through the gloominess of Iceland’s longest season. But this Saturday was different.  Let’s read and chat The sun was slowly creeping its […]

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Sölvi helgason

Artist on the Run

October 1843. Staðarsveit farmstead in Snæfellsnes, West Iceland. It was early evening, and an odd yet highly entertaining young visitor had just finished regaling the appreciative farmhands with his witty remarks and amusing anecdotes. He clearly enjoyed telling them his tall tales as well as sharing his vivid descriptions of Iceland’s natural wonders and deadly […]

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ptarmigan hunt iceland

In Pursuit of Ptarmigan

It’s 6:00 AM and the obsidian darkness lingers outside my windshield. I arrive in the Kársnes neighbourhood of Kópavogur, park my car, and hop into Kristján Andri Einarsson’s black Jimny. The hunter greets me with a boyish smirk, ready for today’s adventure. He is wearing a camouflage cap on his greying auburn hair. Until this […]

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laufabrauð christmas iceland

The Christmas Craftsman

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, families and friends in Iceland come together to make the traditional fried and decorated wafer known as laufabrauð (leaf bread). Rolled out thin, decorated, and fried, the preparation of these treats is an event that brings together families, often with multiple generations taking part. But you won’t find […]

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Ninna Pálmadóttir film director

Making Space

Scene: A grey, Icelandic country road on a grey, Icelandic day. A middle-aged, bearded farmer drives a middle-aged, dusty jeep down the turn-off leading to his farm. After a short distance, the gravel road submerges into a lagoon half a metre deep. The farmer drives on without a second thought. He only stops when he […]

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ármann jakobsson short fiction

The Night Before Admittance

Ármann Jakobsson is an Icelandic author and academic who has written about paranormal activity, class distinction, the brutality of romantic longing, miscellaneous fears, and the generation gap, mainly in the Middle Ages. When he was ten, Mum read him the Moomin books, even though he was more than capable of reading them himself. But he […]

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grindavík evacuation

Out of Harm’s Way

I’ve been a photographer and photojournalist for 33 years. It’s an incredible job and I think I’m good at it. Like any job, it can sometimes be difficult, even lousy. But it’s not just a matter of going to a particular spot to take pictures. The magic of the profession lies in capturing connections – […]

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björn sveinsson

Skeletons in the Closet

Saturday, May 18, 1946 was a pleasant spring morning in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen. The war, with all its horror, had ended a year previously and western Europe was gradually moving toward a civil society based on human rights, justice, and democracy while simultaneously rebuilding and ridding itself of the last vestiges of Nazi occupation. At […]

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vík í mýrdal

Boom Town

The drive into Vík í Mýrdal from the west is one of my favourite stretches of the Ring Road. Just past the turnoffs for Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara, the flat plains of the south coast narrow and rise into a brief

escaped farmed fish iceland

Balancing the Scales

Protest On Saturday, October 7, a tractor trundled through the streets of downtown Reykjavík with hundreds of protestors in tow. The procession was headed to Austurvöllur Square in front of Iceland’s Parliament for a demonstration. Several organisations – including Landvernd (the Icelandic Environment Association) and the Icelandic Wildlife Fund – had organised the event to […]

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