In celebration of Icelandic author Halldór Laxness’ birthday, there are a number of events going on in Reykjavík.
Born April 23, 1902, Laxness spent his early childhood at Laugavegur 32 in Reykjavík (where today the eyeglass store Sjáðu stands) but soon moved with his family to Mosfellsbær, which at the time was a decidedly rural area. Reading and writing from an early age, his first book, Barn náttúrunnar (Child of Nature) was published in 1919. His literary work would continue over the years, earning him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955.
While continuing to work and travel well into his old age, Alzheimer’s eventually took hold of him and he was compelled to move into a nursing home, where he died at the age of 95. His last private residence, Gljúfrasteinn, is now a museum dedicated to him.
RÚV reports that in celebration of his birthday, there are a number of events being held in the capital. A film festival called Laxness í lifandi myndum (Laxness in living pictures) is being held at Bíó Paradís, showing a number of movies based on his work. At the National and University Library of Iceland, an exhibition called Bernska skálds í byrjun aldar (Childhood of the novelist in the beginning of the century) is being held, where a number of files, books and memorabilia from Laxness’ childhood will be on display.
It is also worth pointing out that a great number of Laxness’ more lauded books have been translated into multiple languages, and you can find English versions of some of his best known fiction in bookstores downtown.
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