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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ísafjörður road

I’ve Never Gone North

Our camper van is eating up kilometres as we drive north into the Westfjords. It’s the middle of March, and though in climes less far-flung that means springtime, up here it is still very much winter. An observer may well

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icelandic musician laufey

Chasing Ghosts

RUMOURS “Not a dry eye in sight, I tell ya,” Ísleifur Þórhallsson proclaims, standing near the ticket desk inside the

iceland review history

Iceland Review: A Short History

Beginnings of Iceland Review Iceland Review was founded by the Icelandic journalist, editor, and publisher Haraldur J. Hamar, who passed

Antonía Berg, Icelandic ceramicist

Unearthing Spirit

“Ceramics and clay are things that have been with humans since the beginning of time,” Antonía Berg casually explains to

To Thrive in Chaos

Entering Gallerí Kannski for the Brokat Films exhibition Horseplay, the very first thing that greets you is the smell of

aurora abalone reykjanes

Out of Their Shell

The Reykjanes peninsula is barren, even for Iceland. About two-thirds of it is covered by lava fields, nary a tree

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actress ebba katrín finnsdóttir

The Patchwork of Progress

Resilience Imagine you’re a young woman struggling with addiction.  You’ve lost custody over your toddler daughter, and you’re awaiting a court hearing to determine the future of your guardianship. In order to regain custody, social services – against your wishes – have enrolled you at Hússtjórnarskólinn: The School of Home Economics in Reykjavík, founded in […]

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kaffi valeria kirkjufell grundarfjörður

Goodbye to the Grind

The oldest known evidence of coffee in Iceland is a letter that Lárus Gottrup, a lawyer in Þingeyri, wrote to Árni Magnússon, a professor and manuscript collector, on November 16, 1703. They had spoken at the Alþingi (national Parliament meeting) that summer, and Árni was upset that his friend had forgotten to send him the […]

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Einar Þorsteinsson mayor of reykjavík

The Centre Can Hold

“My approach to politics is based on the concept of “public service,” says Einar Þorsteinsson, the new mayor of Reykjavík. “The people who enter politics should be there to serve the public.” Already a household name as a TV personality, Einar was primed for the spotlight before making the move into politics. The 45-year-old Kópavogur-born […]

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seyðisfjörður jessica auer

The Heath

Jessica Auer is a Canadian photographer and filmmaker. Through her work, she examines our social, political, and aesthetic attitudes towards places, including historical sites, tourist destinations, and small communities. Jessica received her MFA from Concordia University in Montréal, where she teaches part-time. While in Iceland, Jessica runs Ströndin Studio, an educational and experimental centre for […]

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fagraskógarfjall william morris

Searching for Grettir

On July 17, 1871, the English poet and artisan William Morris set out from Reykjavík on horseback with three companions, two guides, and fourteen ponies on the first leg of a six-week journey through the heart of western Iceland. In the age of steamships, locomotives, and the telegraph, this mode of travel was medieval by […]

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kerlingarfjöll cross-country skiing

White Sahara

Cold reception The west-facing windows of our superjeep – or, more correctly, supervan – have turned to ice, blasted by the sharp winds coming off the highland. Inside, it’s warm, and the loud mechanical whirring of pneumatic pistons mingles with

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 shortest days of the season, there are oases in Reykjavík, beacons of light where families […]

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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 things really took off in 2018, when he got his got his first drone. “Since then,” Hörður tells me, “it’s been a passion that’s kept on growing. You just get such a unique perspective with […]

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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 and the terrain demands a symbiotic dance with nature, a culinary legacy has emerged – a testament to tenacious farmers, brave fishermen, and the profound respect for the resources that grace their doorsteps. Finding stories […]

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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 Reykjavík. As an initiate, I had hoped for a night of mayhem, madness, and moshing, but what I found was a less anarchic, more introverted, more thoughtful group of people, uniting to celebrate the winter […]

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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 kind of a joke.  He was, after all, 38 years old and probably a bit too long in the tooth

Of the Great Mortality

Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir is a novelist and a journalist living in Reykjavík. Her novels have been translated into many languages, and include the dystopian thriller Island (2016), and The Fires (2020), which foreshadowed the ongoing volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula, published in English by Amazon Crossing in 2023. Her latest novel, DEUS (2023), is […]

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