Life & Work


AUDUR JONSDOTTIR (b.1973) is one of the most accomplished authors writing in Icelandic today. Her novels have aroused interest in Iceland as well as abroad for their rare blend of incisive candor and humor. She won the Icelandic Literary Prize for The People in the Basement and the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize for Secretaries to the Spirits. Both of these novels were nominated for the Nordic Council Literary Prize.

Audurs debut novel, Bliss (Stjórnlaus Lukka), was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 1998. Since then her output has included further novels, as well as books for children and teenagers, most notably Skrýtnastur er maður sjálfur (One self is the strangest of all, 2002), a portrait of her grandfather, the Nobel prize-winning author Halldor Laxness.

The People in the Basement (Fólkið í kjallaranum) won the 2004 Icelandic Literature Prize followed by a nomination for The Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2006. It came out and was very well received in Denmark and Sweden in the same year.

Deposit (Tryggðarpantur) was published in Reykjavik in November 2006 and was nominated to the Icelandic Literature Prize. It came out in Denmark the year after.

Wintersun (Vetrarsól), was published by btb Random House (Germany) as “Jenseits des Meeres liegt die ganze Welt” in 2011. It harvested great reviews in Der Spiegel and Hamburger Abendblatt among others. It was subsequently published by Querido (Netherlands) in 2012.

In 2009 Audur worked at the Reykjavik City Theater as an in-house writer for one year resulting in a play being adapted from The People in the Basement in the following year. The show was a huge success with critics and audience alike and Audur won the Icelandic Theatre awards (Griman) for the adaption from the book along with Olafur Egilsson.

Secretaries to the Spirits (Ósjálfrátt) published in 2012, was the best selling Icelandic fine literature fiction of the Christmas season. It won the Fjöruverðlaun (Women’s literary award) and was nominated for the Icelandic literary prize as well as the The Nordic Council Literature Prize. The publishing rights were sold to btb Random House (Germany), Tiderne Skifter (Denmark) and Presse de la Cité (France).

Audur latest novel, Grand Mal (Stóri skjálfti), was published last autumn in Reykjavík. It became Audurs most succesfull novel to date and gathered a huge following among Icelandic readers of all ages, strengthening Audurs position as an important writers of her generation.

The People In The Basement, Deposit and Grand Mal are now all being adapted for the silver screen.

Other work by Audur includes international news articles, essays and two books for children with reading disabilities published by The National Centre for Educational Materials. Audur now divides her time between Berlin and Reykjavik with her family.

Bliss 1998
Another life 2000
The People in the Basement 2004
Deposit 2006
Wintersun 2008
Secretaries to the Spirits 2012
Grand Mal 2015

Short stories
The Wedding 1997
The Fat Mother 2001
The Little lawyer 2002
Casablanca 2003
Ofeigs good advice 2004
The Stories 2006

Childrens books
Total Freedom 2001
The Strangest Of All Is One Self 2002

The People In The Basement