Icelandic Literary Prize Awarded Skip to content

Icelandic Literary Prize Awarded

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

This year, the Icelandic Literary Prize was awarded to Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir, Arndís Þórarinsdóttir, Hulda Sigrún Bjarnadóttir and Sumarliði R. Ísleifsson.
Photo: Icelandic Publishers Association. .

President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson awarded the Iceland Literary Prize at the Bessastaðir presidential residence yesterday. This year’s recipients are Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir, Arndís Þórarinsdóttir, Hulda Sigrún Bjarnadóttir and Sumarliði R. Ísleifsson.

The Icelandic Literary Prize recipients receive a calligraphed diploma and a trophy in the form of an open book, designed by Jón Snorri Sigurðsson, as well as one million ISK ($7,692, €6,347), funded by the Icelandic Publishers Association.

The prize is awarded in three categories and this year’s recipients are:

For non-fiction, Sumarliði R. Ísleifsson for his book Í fjarska norðursins: Ísland og Grænland – viðhorfasaga í þúsund ár.  The judges’ panel commented “In his book, Sumarliði manages to illuminate the thousand-year history of the world’s view of the inhabitants of Iceland and Greenland, northerly islands that for centuries were enveloped in a mystical and exotic glow.

For children’s and young adult literature, Arndís Þórarinsdótir and Hulda Sigrún Bjarnadóttir for their book Blokkin á heimsenda. The judges’ panel noted that theirs was an interesting book based on an original concept. The book challenges the western world’s consumerism and introduces the threat of climate crisis without forcing it down readers’ throats.

For Fiction, Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir for her book Aprílsólarkuldi. The judges noted that her fourth novel deals with an intimate story, based on fragments of the author’s own life, in an emotional and poetic way. Elísabet’s rich imagery and sensitivity are used to its fullest and the nuanced text leads the reader in an unexpected but charming way through a heart-breaking story.

This is Elísabet’s fourth novel, but she is also known for her poetry and short stories. She received the Fjöruverðlaunin prize for female, trans, and non-binary writers in 2008 and was nominated for the Nordic Council’s literary award in 2016.

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