“The Book Of Reykjavík” is compiled by ten Icelandic authors and the same number of short stories about the inner life of Icelanders living in this odd locale, which is now home to roughly 200 thousand, if you count the populations of the surrounding suburban areas. We often make jokes about this in Iceland, Reykjavík is two streets in Tokyo. It’s not even a neighbourhood in New York. Still, the complexity of this city is like a metropolitan of millions.
From review of the book in Reykjavík Grapevine:
The “Book of Reykjavík” is, first and foremost, an excellent place to begin if you want to get to know Icelandic modern literature as it becomes more and more of an urban literature, unlike everything that was written most of the 20th century while Icelandic authors focused a lot on the life of farmers and the past. It gives the reader a deep vision into the mindset of Icelanders in this small city. Overall, this is an easy, fun read, giving readers a deep understanding of the modern lives and thoughts of people in Iceland.
The stories are written by very well known Icelandic writers and it’s a good compilation of authors, age and gender. Vera Júlíusdóttir and Becca Parkinson edited the book and they seem to have done so with great care and deep thought.
The stories are well translated by Iceland’s best translators and it showcases pretty well much of the best that is happening in Icelandic literature right now. For example, at least six of the ten authors have received the Icelandic Book Prize at one time or the other. It’s a very ambitious offering.
The forewords are written by none other than one of Reykjavik Grapevine’s favourite authors, SJÓN and Vera does a good job explaining the aesthetic of the stories in her Introduction to the book.
Read full review here
Window into Reykjavik
One of my favorite things about Iceland is the geothermal swimming pool/hot tub phenomenon, and the story about it from an Icelander's perspective was a treat.