More books are written, published and sold per person per year in Iceland than anywhere else on the planet. The Icelandic people were in the past and still are great storytellers. Icelanders’ sagas, also called family sagas, are prose histories recounting events that took place on Iceland a thousand years ago. A unique form of medieval literature, these tales told of the adventures, struggles and often bloody feuds of the great families who settled on this remote island. First passed down orally from generation to generation, around 1190 -1320 writers inscribed these stories into books. Among the most important are the Njáls saga, a compelling story of a fifty-year blood feud, and the Gísla saga, about a tragic hero who must kill one of his brothers-in-law to avenge another brother-in-law. Travel with Far Horizons to Iceland in 2021!
If you would like to read books by contemporary Icelandic authors, look for Independent People (1934) by Halldór Laxness, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955, Karitas by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, or The Lodger by Svava Jakobsdóttir.