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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Snorri and Bergur on stage

Can You Dig It?

The premise of the podcast Fílalag is simple. Musician Snorri Helgason and Renaissance man Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson discuss music. One episode, one song. Snorri often focuses on the music and the biographical details of the relevant artists while Bergur –

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Guide and biker Magne Kvam

Fast Track

Pollocked with mud Why can’t I just, for once, dress appropriately for these occasions? I was hurtling down a narrow

Frida Ísberg

Future Imperfect

“I was maybe six or seven when I discovered writing could suit me as a profession. And since then, I’ve

icelandic photographer valdimar thorlacius

Capturing Solitude

Valdimar Thorlacius had something of an unorthodox entry into photography, especially for an Icelander. “Originally, I just wanted to document

Grindavik from above

Losing Ground

“If it all goes to hell, it goes to hell,” Pétur Benediktsson, vice-chief of the Grindavík fire brigade and business

icelandic goat háafell farm

Getting Your Goat

Visiting Háafell Goat Farm on a bright and breezy day in late April, the vitality of spring is palpable. The

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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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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, that I was on my way to one of the dimly lit clubs that line Laugavegur street, where young bodies sway to pulsing, electronic beats. Actually, I was heading somewhere entirely different: to a wood-panelled […]

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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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