From Iceland — Elif Shafak Receives Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize

Elif Shafak Receives Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize

Published September 13, 2021

Desirai Thompson
Photo by
Twitter/Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Elif Shafak, award-winning British-Turkish author and human rights activist, has received the Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize, reports RÚV. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir presented Elif with the award at the biannual Reykjavík International Literary Festival on Saturday.

The Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize, eponymously named after the Nobel Prize winning Icelandic author, is given to writers who promote the renewal of storytelling through their work. Elif is the second author to receive the award after English novelist Ian McEwan won at the festival in 2019. Recipients are awarded 15,000 euros with the prize.

Elif has published 19 books, including 12 novels. Her novel, ’10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World’, earned her nominations for the Booker Prize, the RSL Ondaatje Prize and was deemed Book of the Year by Blackwell. The BBC also named her book ‘The Forty Rules of Love’ one of the 100 works that have shaped the world.

The selection committee tasked with deciding this year’s winner consisted of First Lady, Eliza Reid, Director of the Reykjavík Literary Festival, Stella Soffía Jóhannesdóttir and former winner, Ian McEwan.

Two of Elif’s novels have been translated into Icelandic–‘Heiður’ (2014) and ’10 mínútur og 38 sekúndur í þessari undarlegu veröld’ (2021). Overall her works have been translated into 55 languages.

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