Auður Jónsdóttir

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Auður Jónsdóttir
Audur Jonsdottir
Audur Jonsdottir 2016
Born30 March 1973 (1973-03-30) (age 47)
OccupationIcelandic writer

Auður Jónsdóttir (born 30 March 1973)[1] is one of the most accomplished authors writing in Icelandic today. Her novels have aroused interest in Iceland as well as abroad for their rare blend of incisive candor and humor. She won the Icelandic Literary Prize for The People in the Basement and the Icelandic Women's Literature Prize for Secretaries to the Spirits. Both of these novels were nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize.

Auður's debut novel, Bliss (Stjórnlaus Lukka), was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize in 1998. Since then her output has included further novels, as well as books for children and teenagers, most notably Skrýtnastur er maður sjálfur (One self is the strangest of all, 2002), a portrait of her grandfather, the Nobel prize-winning author Halldor Laxness. The People in the Basement (Fólkið í kjallaranum) won the 2004 Icelandic Literary Prize followed by a nomination for Nordic Council's Literature Prize in 2006. It came out and was very well received in Denmark and Sweden in the same year.

Deposit (Tryggðarpantur) was published in Reykjavik in November 2006 and was nominated to the Icelandic Literary Prize. It came out in Denmark the year after. Wintersun (Vetrarsól), was published by btb Random House (Germany) as "Jenseits des Meeres liegt die ganze Welt" in 2011. It harvested great reviews in Der Spiegel and Hamburger Abendblatt among others. It was subsequently published by Querido (Netherlands) in 2012.

In 2009 Auður worked at the Reykjavik City Theater as an in-house writer for one year resulting in a play being adapted from The People in the Basement in the following year. The show was a huge success with critics and audience alike and Auður won the Icelandic Theatre awards (Griman) for the adaption from the book along with Olafur Egilsson. Secretaries to the Spirits (Ósjálfrátt) published in 2012, was the best selling Icelandic fine literature fiction of the Christmas season. It won the Fjöruverðlaun (Women's literary award) and was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize as well as the Nordic Council's Literature Prize. The publishing rights were sold to btb Random House (Germany), Tiderne Skifter (Denmark) and Presse de la Cité (France).

Auður latest novel, Grand Mal (Stóri skjálfti), was published last autumn in Reykjavík. It became Auður's most successful novel to date and gathered a huge following among Icelandic readers of all ages, strengthening Auður's position as an important writers of her generation.

The People In The Basement, Deposit and Grand Mal are now all being adapted for the silver screen. Other work by Auður includes international news articles, essays and two books for children with reading disabilities published by The National Centre for Educational Materials. Auður now divides her time between Berlin and Reykjavik with her family.

Main Works[edit]


  • Bliss 1998
  • Another life 2000
  • The People in the Basement 2004
  • Deposit 2006
  • Wintersun 2008
  • Secretaries to the Spirits 2012
  • Grand Mal 2015

Short stories

  • The Wedding 1997
  • The Fat Mother 2001
  • The Little lawyer 2002
  • Casablanca 2003
  • Ofeigs good advice 2004
  • The Stories 2006

Children's books

  • Total Freedom 2001
  • The Strangest Of All Is One Self 2002


  • The People In The Basement

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2016 - The Icelandic Radio (RUV) Award.
  • 2015 - Icelandic book sellers prize: Grand Mal.
  • 2015 - Icelandic Lit Prize (Nomination): Grand Mal.
  • 2014 - Nordic Council Literature Prize (Nomination): Secretaries to the Spirits.
  • 2012 - DV Newspaper's Cultural Award (Nomination): Secretaries to the Spirits.
  • 2012 - The Women's Literary Award: Secretaries to the Spirits.
  • 2011 - Griman. Icelandic Theatre Awards. The People in the Basement.
  • 2006 - Icelandic Lit Prize (Nomination): Deposit.
  • 2006 - Nordic Council Lit Prize (Nomination): The People in the Basement.
  • 2004 - Icelandic Lit Prize: The People in the Basement.
  • 2002 - Icelandic book sellers prize: The strangest of all is you.
  • 2002 - Upplýsing Prize (Librarians): The strangest of all is you. *2002 - Icelandic Literature Prize (Nomination): The strangest of all is you.
  • 1998 - Icelandic Literature Prize (Nomination):Bliss.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Auður Jónsdóttir | Literature Web". City of literature UNESCO (in Icelandic). 15 April 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2018.

External links[edit]