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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icelandic language education

Give Icelandic a Chance

As ever more tourists stroll around downtown Reykjavík, a debate has intensified within Icelandic society about the changes they bring with them. Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Culture Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir has been especially outspoken in her critique of the

reykjavík marathon

Rosé and 10K (at the Reykjavík Marathon)

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 was in Surrey when I made that observation. Surrey in English means Sorry – in […]

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motorsports iceland

Mud, Sweat, and Gears

The motorsport Formula Offroad began in Iceland in the 1960s. The history of the sport is traced to rescue teams, who in an effort to generate additional funding for their chapters, began showcasing their 4×4 trucks navigating challenging Icelandic terrain. And what started as a demonstration evolved into a competitive endeavour among teams, with custom-built […]

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reykjanes eruption

Live, Laugh, Lava

For the third year in a row, there’s a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, only a stone’s throw away from the city centre. This eruption marks a pattern, with around 300 days between eruptions, geologists’ predictions of a new eruption phase for the long-dormant volcano system seem to be coming to fruition. For visitors […]

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true crime iceland

Borrowed Crime

The sensationalisation of tragedy In 2018, the New York Times published an essay by 17-year-old Rachel Chestnut, one of the winners of the magazine’s student editorial contest. Her essay – entitled Is True Crime as Entertainment Morally Defensible? – noted that “real life acts of violence” had long been masqueraded before the public, whether as […]

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whaling in iceland

Sea Change

Last spring, journalists and activists gathered in a quiet fjord an hour’s drive north of Reykjavík. There was a small harbour, but no fishermen bringing in the day’s catch. For what these guys were fishing, they needed a bigger boat. The whaling ships of Hvalur were preparing for a season of fin whale hunting, planning […]

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mugison iceland music

Mugi-zen

It’s the first day of July and when the photographer picks me up, it’s pouring rain. Summer has yet to make an appearance in Reykjavík, or in most of Iceland for that matter. We head north out of the city, bracing ourselves for a three-hour drive to the Vatnsnes peninsula, where we’re attending an outdoor […]

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farmhouse iceland

Turf and Rescue

Austur-Meðalholt Hannes Lárusson grew up in a cluster of turf houses on the farmstead Austur-Meðalholt in Southwest Iceland. His ancestors moved there around 1850. The houses they constructed were made with the remnants of the land’s pre-existing houses, which slouched near the marshes when they arrived. The history of the farmstead stretches nearly as far […]

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oystercatcher reykjanes

To Catch an Oystercatcher

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 […]

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laki eruption 1783

The Ocean of Fire

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 […]

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westfjords iceland

Making Merry

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 […]

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icelandic literature

Why Can’t We Fly?

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 […]

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