Anniversary of Icelandic author Skip to content

Anniversary of Icelandic author

A century has passed since renowned Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson wrote his first novel. The anniversary was celebrated in cultural center Gerduberg in Reykjavík yesterday.

Gunnarsson was born in 1889 in farm Valthjófsstadur in Fljótsdalur valley in east Iceland. Nearby is Skriduklaustur, a monastery until 1552, where Gunnarsson built a house in 1939. It now houses a cultural center.

Gunnarsson started writing at an early age and published his first novel in 1906. RÚV explains that Gunnarsson decided to write in Danish, as Icelandic was spoken by such a small nation.

Scholars believe that decision deprived him of the Nobel Prize when he was nominated for the third time in 1955. The price went to his countryman Halldór Laxness.

Gunnarsson’s most famous work is a series of five books called Fjallkirkjan (“The Church on the Mountain”), based on his own life. The books were published between 1923 and 1928.

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