Jón Kalman Stefánsson: Fish Have No Feet & Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir: Crisis Writer

Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Born 1963 in Reykjavik. He did not complete his literary studies. He made a living as a worker in a fish processing factory, as a police officer, bricklayer, teacher, journalist, he was the director of a library. He started as a poet and has been writing novels for the last quarter century. He is currently the most internationally acclaimed Icelandic writer. Among others, he was nominated for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature four times, once for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his novel Fiskarnir hafa enga fætur (2013, in Slovak Ryby nemajú nohy [Fish Have No Feet], 2016). He is famous for his trilogy, which has been translated into twenty languages, including Czech: Heaven and Hell (2012), The Sorrow of Angels (2014) and The Heart of Man (2017). The author discusses there the rough life of a fishing village at the end of the 19th century. His stories are captivating, raw, fatal, using poetic language. "Happiness - we simply experience, but misfortune - we have to explain and write about it," he says.

Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir
Born 1974 in Reykjavik. Writer, journalist, historian. She studied history and Spanish at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík and at the University of Salamanca, then journalism at Columbia University in New York. Since 1999 she has worked for Icelandic public television and radio, among other things she was a correspondent in Copenhagen. She had international success with her debut, the novel Island (2016), which was also published in Czech [Ostrov] (2019). In a dystopian story, she describes a world forcibly cut off from technology, the role of the media and the behavior of people in times of crisis. Other novels followed: Hið heilaga orð [Holy Word] (2018), in Czech [Svaté slovo] (2022) and Eldarnir. Ástin og aðrar hamfarir [Fire. Love and Other Disasters] (2020), which deals with the unexpected awakening of volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula.