Icelandic Literature – Contemporary Studies I


No prior knowledge of Icelandic is required. This is not a dedicated Icelandic language course, but a study of Icelandic literature in translation. Students will learn various Icelandic phrases, cultural references, and historical attitudes by reading select contemporary Icelandic fiction and poetry.

Course Description

Lucky for us, the Icelandic tourism boom has been accompanied by a flood of Icelandic literature in English translation. Ancient sagas have long been accessible to the globally-minded, but increasing interest in translation in general has led to an unprecedented amount of contemporary Icelandic literature available to English readers. What better window into the culture and personality of a country, language, and people than fresh, current reading, including a range of styles and sharp takes on story-telling and Icelandic identities both at home and abroad. 

Readings will include fiction and poetry from the writers who are carrying Iceland into the 21st century—future classics, hot-off-the-press releases—the books that Icelanders themselves are talking about! Supplemented with short in-class materials, the reading list includes Bloodhoof by Gerður Kristný, translated by Rory McTurk, NARRATOR by Bragi Olafsson, translated by Lytton Smith (out just this August!), “The Blue Blood”, a short story by Oddný Eir, translated by Philip Roughton, and Stormwarning by Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, translated by course instructor K.B. Thors.

Note:  All readings available in Kindle editions from Amazon, all except “The Blue Blood”—a short online read—available in paperback.


This course is not available at this time. Stay tuned for future classes!


Our classes take place at a central location in Toronto, Ontario Canada near public transportation (normally by a TTC subway or streetcar). Information about classroom location will be sent to registered and paid students prior to the start of class through e-mail.

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