Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl’s Illska (“Evil”) and Auður Jónsdóttir’s Ósjálfrátt (“Secretaries to the Spirits”) have been chosen to be Iceland’s entries for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.
Illska is a 500+ page novel about Agnes Lukauskas, an Icelander of Lithuanian descent, and her love triangle with Ómar Arnarson and Arnór Þórðarson, in a story that spans decades. Ósjálfrátt, which is Auður’s seventh novel, follows Eyja, her family, and the narrative threads that course through all their lives.
Auður has been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize before, for her novel Fólkið í kjallaranum (“The People in the Basement”) in 2005. Her career spans nearly 20 years of short stories, children’s books and novels. Eiríkur has been active as a poet, novelist, translator and critic for about 15 years now, and was one of the founding members of the Nýhil poetry collective. He has also contributed to the Grapevine.
Iceland has won the Nordic Council Literature Prize seven times since the prize’s inception in 1962, starting with Að laufferjum og Að brunnum by Ólafur Jóhann Sigurðsson, who won the prize in 1976. The last Icelander to win the award was Gyrðir Elíasson, for his book Milli trjánna, in 2011.