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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Björk

“This is my mushroom album.”  What do you when you’re forced to spend time at home for three years? When your social circle shrinks to ten of your closest family and friends and you spend your time shifting from your makeshift at-home office

icelandic literature elísabet jökulsdóttir

Three Pieces of Short Fiction

The Little Girl Who Lived on Fish Hearts I once knew a little girl who lived on nothing but fish hearts. She had a bowl of goldfish and spent every day at home alone with her fish. Her dad and

basketball iceland

Playing Ball

“Let’s try to keep the interview as short as possible.” A stressed-out looking man has set a tight timeframe for this interview and hurriedly gestures to Tryggvi Snær Hlinason to have a seat. He’s not a particularly short man, but in this crowd, we all look tiny. Iceland’s national basketball team has just finished warming […]

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Nothing to Speak Of

/01 ICELANDIC EXERCISE: PRONUNCIATION “Ministry of Culture and Ed- Culture and Trade.” “Yes, hello. I’m a journalist from Iceland Review. I’m calling to inquire whether Icelandic language education for immigrants falls under this ministry.” “Hmmm… Give me a moment.” …

anna moldnúpur

Globetrotter

Already suffering from nausea in anticipation of a long voyage at sea, a middle-aged, red-headed Icelandic country woman with a modest suitcase nervously climbed a narrow gangplank in Reykjavik harbour to board the Brúarfoss, an Icelandic passenger and cargo ship. It was a bright, calm evening in mid-July 1946 and Anna – a weaver by […]

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In the Rangers’ Realm

What does a ranger do, exactly? According to the tan and charmingly scruffy specimen sitting opposite me at a cafe in the city centre, just back from the mountains, the title is self-explanatory. “It’s a job in environment protection. That’s what the Icelandic word for ranger, landvörður, means. We’re protecting the land; we’re its guardians.” […]

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One Night in Gufunes

Geoffrey Skywalker Geoffrey “Skywalker” pulls up in a Hertz moving truck in front of the FÚSK warehouse in East Reykjavík. He’s dressed in skinny jeans and white sneakers, wearing a black, longsleeved shirt featuring an ornery-seeming Rottweiler. (He’s a dog person.) A fixture of the hip-hop scene in Iceland since he was younger, Geoffrey hustled […]

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Unearthed

“IT WAS KNOWN THAT THERE WERE CAVES HERE AT ODDI. BUT I NEVER EXPECTED TO FIND ONE THAT WAS STILL INTACT. ESPECIALLY NOT SUCH A BIG ONE.” Lucky number 12 After the death of Þorlákur Þórhallsson, Bishop of Skálholt, in 1193, stories of miracles that occurred in his diocese were collected as part of efforts […]

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privately owned tourism sites iceland

In Focus: Privately Owned Tourist Sites

Many visitors to Iceland may be surprised to know that some of the country’s most popular tourist sites are located on privately-owned land. Icelandic law ensures that the public can access sites of natural or historical significance, despite them being

dieter roth

Imbuing Matter with Spirit

In 1957, a young, Swiss graphic-designer-turned-artist, Dieter Roth (1930-1998), reached Icelandic shores. Like many men before and since he was following an Icelandic woman. He had met and fallen in love with her in Denmark a year earlier. Roth would become a household name in Iceland and a celebrated figure in 20th-century modernist art and […]

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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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In the Balance

“HE COMES FROM A GREAT LINE OF GLÍMA WRESTLERS.”  “Stigið!” calls the referee, and the two glíma wrestlers – who had just shaken hands, grabbed each other’s belts, and gotten into position, chin to cheek – start a sort of dance, their backs straight as arrows. After two or three steps, the referee blows his […]

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