These were our guides for the literary tour. Ulfhildur Dagsdóttir, left, is a scholar of Icelandic literature and project manager at the Reykjavík City Library. Maria Þordardóttir, an actress, read passages from famous Icelandic stories. Heiðdís Einarsdóttir, of Visit Reykjavík, arranged our tour.
Our guides led us to locations in the old city that Icelandic writers chose to include in their novels. In the photo above, Maria Þordardóttir read to us from the beginning of The Man from Manitoba, by Arnaldur Indriðason (2013). It's a new best selling mystery, which is currently being translated into English. The story begins here, at the back door of the National Theatre of Iceland, in the alley.
A shot of the front of the theater, and one inside the lobby.
Our Library guides led us past this building and explained its history, including its role in the story, Tímaþjófurinn / The Thief of Time (1986), by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir.
Our literary tour concluded here, at Hannesarholt Haust, the historic home of Hannes Hafstein (1861-1922), the first Minister of Iceland after winning independence. He lived in this house with his family from 1915 to 1922. The current owner renovated the building, and turned it into a cultural center and café. It is located on the corner of Grundarstígur and Skálholtsstígur.
The inside is decorated with antiques of the period.
This is the actual desk of Hannes Hafstein, returned to the home.
We had the good fortune to meet two of the most celebrated best-selling authors of Iceland. This is Andri Snær Magnason, who described his books:
Dream Land - self-help for a frightened nation
Love Star - how birds migrate and travel through bird waves
Story of the Blue Planet - a children's book
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, one of Iceland's best selling mystery writers, read to us from I Remember You, her latest novel. She also wrote Someone to Watch Over Me (c. 2009 Iceland; translated by Phillip Roughton, 2013).
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir's protagonist works in the law offices across the street from the old prison on Skólavörðustígur. Our guides brought us to see the prison before meeting the author at Hannesarholt Haust.
Halldór Laxness (1902-1998)
Iceland's Nobel Prize Winning Author
Photo credit: By Nobel Foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
During the convention, we attended an inspiring presentation about Halldór Laxness (1902-1998), Iceland's celebrated author. Laxness won the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland."
The speaker (pictured below) is Gísli Pálsson, professor of anthropology at the University of Iceland. Dr. Pálsson is the author, editor, and co-editor of hundreds of books and articles in the field of anthropology.