This site was created for people interested in the work (and life) of Halldór Laxness, the greatest Icelandic author of the 20th century. Because information is sometimes hard to find in English this site will bring together reviews, essays, photos, video clips, and links in one location and with a section devoted to each of the books. New material will be added from time to time. This site can help keep information from being lost due to "link-rot" (and we've lost a fair bit already!) The written material posted here is used by permission. Images should be all "fair use"- if any are not, let us know.
Use the links listed in the sidebar to access material about the above titles and other topics.
The celebrated Icelandic author Halldór Laxness wrote many novels, essays, plays and stories in his long career. Those of us not empowered with a fluency in Icelandic are limited to the books listed in this site; most are readily available although Salka Valka, The Happy Warriors and The Honour of the House are extremely difficult to find in affordable English translations.
Translation is an art form in itself; any final judgment concerning the English versions of these books can be left to experts (although you are welcome to state your opinion!) Icelandic is a very precise language (blessed with a vibrant set of idioms) and English has a lot of Icelandic "DNA" in its structure and vocabulary (from its roots in Old Norse) which should allow for a good conversion. Those of us who are not native Icelanders will miss many cultural references in these books, conversely, reading Laxness exposes us to many facets of Icelandic history, culture and psychology. It has been written that Laxness has done more to shape the Icelandic sense of national identity than any other author has for any other culture.
If you are interested in the work of Halldór Laxness and/or have original material (reviews, corrections, essays, appreciations, travel stories, etc.,) leave a comment (with a link, if possible), We'll be glad to incorporate as much as we can into these pages. On-topic comments are always welcome.
Send any personal communication to firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Stephen Cowdery and all the contributors.
A final word of warning: Reading Laxness causes true addiction! Beware!