Land of the Sagas
Author: David Roberts,Jon Krakauer
Publisher: Villard Books
Photographs exploring the grandeur of Iceland's remarkable geography accompany tales of real-life heroes and supernatural beings
Author: Richard Fidler,Kari Gislason
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Category: Biography & Autobiography
'I adored this book - a wondrous compendium of Iceland's best sagas' - Hannah Kent A new friendship. An unforgettable journey. A beautiful and bloody history. This is Iceland as you've never read it before ... Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland - the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages.These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown. Together, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery - a gift from Kari's Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.
An American in Iceland
Author: Bill Holm
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
The author travels to a small fishing cirlce in Iceland and reflects on the United States.
Strangers in Iceland
Author: Sarah Moss
Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in Kent. The resulting adventure was shaped by Icelands economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary, by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943, a woman who speaks to elves and a chef who guided Sarahs family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine. Moss explored hillsides of boiling mud and volcanic craters and learned to drive like an Icelander on the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She watched the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds, and as the weeks and months went by, she and her family learned new ways to live. Names for the Sea is her compelling, beautiful and very funny account of living in a country poised on the edge of Europe, where modernization clashes with living folklore.
The People of the Sagas
Author: William R. Short
The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include religion, housing, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and the early history of Iceland. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
Author: Einar Mar Jonsson,Guillaume Cannat
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
A photographic tour of the dramatic landscape of Iceland captures a world of sweeping ocean vistas, active volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, lava floes, glaciers, ice fields, and rocky mountains, accompanied by a naturalist's account of the vast forces that have shaped the island nation through geologic time.
Author: Stephen Markley,Sigga Rún
Publisher: Giveliveexplore LLC
From drinking late into the night with gorgeous Icelandic blondes to traveling to the farthest reaches of the country; from hiking over glaciers to encountering a drunk, raging Kiefer Sutherland; from interviewing Jón Gnarr, the comedian mayor of Reykjavik (who ran on a platform of having free towels at all the swimming pools), to touring the homes of Iceland's hidden elves; Markley delivers the fastest, funniest memoir of an American experience in Iceland. -- p.  of cover.
Author: Kári Gíslason
Publisher: Univ. of Queensland Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Born from a secret liaison between a British mother and an Icelandic father, Kári Gíslason was the subject of a promise: a promise elicited by his father not to reveal his identity in order to spare his wife and five other children. At the age of 27, Kári decides to break the pact between his parents by contacting his father’s family; what follows makes for a riveting journey over landscapes, time, and memory. From the shark net at Sydney’s Balmoral and an unsettled life in the English countryside to the harsh yellow summer of Brisbane and the freezing cold winters of Iceland, the author traces his mother’s steps into the arms of a secret lover. At the culmination of this poignant, painful, and joyous story, Kári’s determination to defy his father’s wishes results in his uniting with his relatives.
A Social History of Iceland
Author: Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Iceland is an enigmatic island country marked by contradiction: it’s a part of Europe, yet separated from it by the Atlantic Ocean; it’s seemingly inhospitable, yet home to more than 300,000. Wasteland with Words explores these paradoxes to uncover the mystery of Iceland. In Wasteland with Words Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon presents a wide-ranging and detailed analysis of the island’s history that examines the evolution and transformation of Icelandic culture while investigating the literary and historical factors that created the rich cultural heritage enjoyed by Icelanders today. Magnússon explains how a nineteenth-century economy based on the industries of fishing and agriculture—one of the poorest in Europe—grew to become a disproportionately large economic power in the late twentieth century, while retaining its strong sense of cultural identity. Bringing the story up to the present, he assesses the recent economic and political collapse of the country and how Iceland has coped. Throughout Magnússon seeks to chart the vast changes in this country’s history through the impact and effect on the Icelandic people themselves. Up-to-date and fascinating, Wasteland with Words is a comprehensive study of the island’s cultural and historical development, from tiny fishing settlements to a global economic power.
Author: Jesse L Byock
Medieval Iceland was unique amongst Western Europe, with no foreign policy, no defence forces, no king, no lords, no peasants and few battles. It should have been a utopia yet its literature is dominated by brutality and killing. The reasons for this, argues Jesse Byock, lie in the underlying structures and cultural codes of the islands' social order. 'Viking Age Iceland' is an engaging, multi-disciplinary work bringing together findings in anthropology and ethnography interwoven with historical fact and masterful insights into the popular Icelandic sagas, this is a brilliant reconstruction of the inner workings of a unique and intriguing society.
Author: Barbara A. Somervill
Publisher: Childrens Press
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Discusses the history, government, culture, people, climate, wildlife, and plants of this island nation.
A True Story Of Impossible Murder In Iceland
Author: Anthony Adeane
Publisher: Hachette UK
Category: True Crime
AS SEEN ON BBC STORYVILLE, AND COMING TO NETFLIX IN SEPTEMBER 2018. 'Reads like a great thriller. Incredibly interesting, even for someone from Iceland, where this mystery has been a part of the nation for decades' Ragnar Jonasson, bestselling author of the Dark Iceland crime series Every Icelander knows about the Gudmundur and Geirfinnur disappearances. 1974. In two separate incidents, two men vanished into thin air. Then, out of it, came six murder confessions and six convictions. Yet, in the decades that followed, these too evaporated. Anthony Adeane explores the stranger-than-fiction story that has unravelled in Iceland across forty-five years. He provides the first full account of the case, paints a fascinating picture of the country, and places each development in the contexts that shaped them: from the Cod Wars to the Cold War, the 2008 economic crash and beyond. Using unprecedented access, and exploring his own personal obsession with the case, he exposes the mistakes that were made, the lives that were ruined, the questions that remain unanswered, and the headlines that continue to be printed. Out Of Thin Air is at once a brilliant portrait of a society, a story of a shocking miscarriage of justice and a compelling true crime narrative.
From the Settlement to the Present Day
Author: Jón R. Hjálmarsson
History of Iceland for the general reader, from discovery and first settlement, the Commonweath, Saga Age, foreign rule, Reformation of 1550, independence, Home Rule and the Republic, with a summary of economy and society.
Author: Oddný Eir
Publisher: Restless Books
“Oddný Eir is an authentic author, philosopher and mystic. She weaves together diaries and fiction. She is the writer I feel can best express the female psyche of now and has bridged the gap between rural Iceland and Western philosophy. A true pioneer!!!!!!!!” —Björk The winner of the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize in 2012, Land of Love and Ruins is the debut novel by a daring new voice in international fiction: Oddný Eir. Written in the form of a diary but with fantastical linguistic verve, the narrator sets out on a universal quest: to find a place to belong—and a way of being in the world. Paradoxically, her longing to settle down drives her to embark on all kinds of journeys, physical and mental, through time and space, in order to find answers to questions that concern not only her personally, but also the whole of humankind. She explores various modes of living, ponders different types of relationships and contemplates her bond with her family, land and nation; trying to find a balance between companionship and independence, movement and stability, past, present, and future. An enchanting blend of autobiography, diary, philosophical inquiry, and fantasy, Land of Love and Ruins is a richly imagined and utterly unique book about being human in the modern world.
Author: Ármann Jakobsson,Sverrir Jakobsson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Category: Literary Criticism
The last fifty years have seen a significant change in the focus of saga studies, from a preoccupation with origins and development to a renewed interest in other topics, such as the nature of the sagas and their value as sources to medieval ideologies and mentalities. The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials. This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.
Author: Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson
Author: Feodor Pitcairn,Ari Trausti Gundmundsson
Publisher: Power House Books
Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed elegantly explores the diverse and raw beauty of Iceland's extraordinary landscapes through striking images by photographer and naturalist Feodor Pitcairn and the inspired words of geophysicist, author, and poet Ari Trausti Guðmundsson. This collection illuminates topographical phenomenon shaped and crafted by the most powerful natural forces on earth: rain and glacier melt form thunderous waterfalls and rivers that carve at the earth's surface; arctic snow and ice peppering the land and sea with striking shapes and patterns, feeding the climate and water cycles; lava flows from active volcanoes that build vast, textured landforms where life can begin and take hold. These are the beautiful and extraordinary results of our planet's most fundamental geological processes. Pitcairn's passion for photography lies in his desire to convey the truest account possible of the natural environments he explores and strives to protect. Each Primordial Landscapes image was made with a digital Hasselblad camera, delivering superior color, detail, and clarity. A map and index provide intriguing geological and cultural information about the content of the photographs.
A Novel of Medieval Iceland
Author: Jeff Janoda
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
This retelling of the ancient Saga of the People of Eyri is a modern classic. Absolutely gripping and compulsively readable, Booklist said this book, "does what good historical fiction is supposed to do: put a face on history that is recognizable to all." And medieval expert Tom Shippey, writing for the Times Literary Supplement said, "Sagas look like novels superficially, in their size and layout and plain language, but making their narratives into novels is a trick which has proved beyond most who have tried it. Janoda's Saga provides a model of how to do it: pick out the hidden currents, imagine how they would seem to peripheral characters, and as with all historical novels, load the narrative with period detail drawn from the scholars. No better saga adaptation has been yet written."
Author: Gunnar Karlsson
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
Iceland is unique among European societies in having been founded as late as the Viking Age and in having copious written and archaeological sources about its origin. Gunnar Karlsson, that country's premier historian, chronicles the age of the Sagas, consulting them to describe an era without a monarch or central authority. Equating this prosperous time with the golden age of antiquity in world history, Karlsson then marks a correspondence between the Dark Ages of Europe and Iceland's "dreary period", which started with the loss of political independence in the late thirteenth century and culminated with an epoch of poverty and humility, especially during the early Modern Age. Iceland's renaissance came about with the successful struggle for independence in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and with the industrial and technical modernization of the first half of the twentieth century. Karlsson describes the rise of nationalism as Iceland's mostly poor peasants set about breaking with Denmark, and he shows how Iceland in the twentieth century slowly caught up economically with its European neighbors.
Voyages of a Viking Woman
Author: Nancy Marie Brown
The remarkable story of Gudrid, the female explorer who sailed from Iceland to the New World a millennium ago. Five hundred years before Columbus, a Viking woman named Gudrid sailed off the edge of the known world. She landed in the New World and lived there for three years, giving birth to a baby before sailing home. Or so the Icelandic sagas say. Even after archaeologists found a Viking longhouse in Newfoundland, no one believed that the details of Gudrid’s story were true. Then, in 2001, a team of scientists discovered what may have been this pioneering woman’s last house, buried under a hay field in Iceland, just where the epic tales suggest it could be. Joining scientists experimenting with cutting-edge technology and the latest archaeological techniques, and tracing Gudrid’s steps on land and in the sagas, The Far Traveler reconstructs a life that spanned—and expanded—the bounds of the then-known world. It also sheds new light on the society that gave rise to a woman even more extraordinary than legend has painted her, and illuminates the reasons for its collapse.