Meet the Author: Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir



Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (1958) has taught art and art history at the University of Iceland and at the Iceland University of the Arts. She was head of the university‘s Art Museum, she has curated art exhibitions and written about visual arts and art-historical subjects in newspapers and magazines. Ólafsdóttir is one of Iceland’s most famous writers of our time and has written six novels, a poetry collection, plays and lyrics for the Icelandic band Milkywhale.

Ólafsdóttir debuted in 1998 with Upphækkuð jörð / Raised Earth, and six years later Rigning í nóvember / Butterflies in November, which received the literature prize Bókmenntaverðlaun Tómasar Guðmundssonar. Her third novel Afleggjarin / The Greenhouse was her international breakthrough. The book has been translated into many languages, has received more awards and was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2009.


Ör / Hotel Silence is Ólafsdóttir’s fifth novel, which received the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2017 and the Nordic Council‘s Literature Prize 2018. The novel is about a middle-aged man who travels to a war-torn country to take his own life – with a drill in his luggage so he can put up a hook when needed. During the journey, he finds that every person has a toolbox and can choose how to use it. With understated humour, Ólafsdóttir focuses on profound and urgent questions about the position of women, war and escape, loneliness and resignation, the sorrow of people and the duty to allow humanity to challenge darkness. Recently, Ólafsdóttir has released the novel Ungfrú Ísland.

The event begins at 19.30, and everyone is welcome while there is room. The conversation, led by Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter, Project Manager for the Nordic Council Literature Prizes, will be in Scandinavian and Icelandic. Free entrance.

AALTO Bistro in the Nordic House is open for dinner guests before the event and offers a delicious dinner menu and light meals, all made with first-class ingredients. During the break, it is possible to enjoy light refreshments from AALTO Bistro.



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