Iceland is known for being one of the most creative countries in the world, so it’s no surprise the literature that comes from this Nordic nation has gained international attention. In the past decade, translation of Icelandic literature into foreign languages has tripled, with renowned texts being published in French, Hungarian, Norwegian, English, Italian and more.
The explosion of these translations is thanks to the Icelandic Literature Center, an entity dedicated to raising awareness of Icelandic literature, both in Iceland and abroad, and promoting its distribution. This year, the Center allocated a record number of grants to translate Icelandic texts into other languages, approving a total of 106 grants for the translation of Icelandic works of literature into 31 different languages (in comparison, in 2008, the Center allocated 31 grants for 14 languages).
These grants are essential to the international dissemination of Icelandic literature and empowers publishers abroad to take on Icelandic works of literature. Most recently, award winning Icelandic author, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir’s text Ör (or, Hotel Silence) has been translated into several languages and will soon be available in many others. In turn, Auður has gathered a loyal readership all over the world like many other Icelandic authors.
We’re excited to see which other Icelandic texts take the world by storm! Have you read any Icelandic literature? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @IcelandNatural!