Icelandic Literary Prize Winners Announced

The Icelandic Literary Prize 2012 was awarded at the presidential residence Bessastaðir on February 6. Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl received the prize for his novel Illska (lit. Evil), published by Mál og menning, in the category of fiction. The non-fiction award went out to Gunnar F. Guðmundsson for the biography Pater Jón Sveinsson – Nonni, published by Opna. The novel Evil tells the story of a young woman, Agnes Lukauskas, the child of Lithuanians who immigrated to Iceland during the Soviet occupation. The story begins in the summer of 1941, when half of the residents of the small Lithuanian town of Jurbarkas are slaughtered in the surrounding forest. Two of Agnes’ great-grandfathers were in the massacre – one shot the other – and three generations later Agnes has become obsessed by the holocaust. Her fixation leads her to Arnór, a literate Neo-Nazi, and a volatile love-triangle ensues. Pater Jón Sveinsson – Nonni is notable for being the first biography of celebrated children's book author Jón Sveinsson to be published in Icelandic. Jón Sveinsson, better known simply as Nonni,  was once one of Iceland's best known authors. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and with the exception of Halldór Laxness, no 20thcentury Icelandic writer achieved the the same level of international popularity. For more information on the book, visit Fabulous Iceland. This is the 24th time that the Icelandic Literary Prize is presented. Last year’s winners were Allt með kossi vekur (lit. Everything With a Kiss Awakens) by Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, in the fiction category, and Jón forseti allur? by Páll Björnsson, in the non-fiction category.