Gerður Kristný


Gerður Kristný is among the leading contemporary writers of Iceland. She has written nonfiction, fiction, children’s books, and six volumes of poetry, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. Blóðhófnir (Bloodhoof ), her poetic rewriting of Norse myths, received the Icelandic Literature Award and was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize; her biography Myndin af pabba—saga Thelmu (A Portrait of Dad—Thelma’s Story) received the Icelandic Journalism Award; and Garðurinn (The Garden) received the West-Nordic Children’s Literature Prize. Kristný has participated in numerous international festivals and residencies, including the Ingmar Bergman residency and the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency at the University of Iowa. She lives in Reykjavík, Iceland.

As an isolated island people, we have always been suspicious of outsiders, but this time we have opened our arms and bid our fellow earth dwellers welcome to our hearths. Yet, as the poem hints, we cannot quite shut out that lingering ancestral fear.


Some of my favorite people on earth are in this book,
Dear writers and grand spirits.

Annie Dillard