Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Auður at LiteratureXchange Festival in Aarhus (2019)
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir and Erik Fosnes Hansen (March 2011)

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (born 1958) is an Icelandic professor of art history, a novelist, playwright and poet.[1] She received the Nordic Council Literature Prize for Hotel Silence in 2018 and the Médicis Foreign Award for Miss Iceland in 2019.

Early life and education[edit]

Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir was born in 1958, in Reykjavík. She studied history of art at Sorbonne, Paris, France.[2]


Auður works as an assistant professor of art history at the University of Iceland.[3][4] For a time, she was the director of the university's Art Museum.[5]

Her first novel Upphækkuð jörð (Raised Earth) was published in 1998. It set the stage for her future works in its fine dissection of the smaller things in life.[6]

Her book Rigning í nóvember (Butterflies in November) was lauded as a "moving, layered and optimistic piece of writing".[7] The book won the Tómas Guðmundsson Literary Award.[6]

In 2009, she published Afleggjarinn (The Greenhouse) to mixed reviews. It was described as meticulous and finely crafted, yet lacking a tension both in its language and friction in its emotion.[8] It was also described as a sweetly comic and wry observation of sex, manhood, death and parenthood.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Auður has revealed that her temporary residence in Catholic countries and her deep interest in their art and music led her to convert to Roman Catholicism.[10]




  • Sálmurinn um glimmer (The Psalm of Glimmer), 2010


  • Swans mate for life (National Theatre of Iceland, 2014)[14]


  • 2018 - Bókmenntaverðlaun Norðurlandaráðs: Ör
  • 2016 - Íslensku bókmenntaverðlaunin: Ör
  • 2011 - Prix des libraires du Québec: Rosa Candida (Afleggjarinn í franskri þýðingu Catherine Eyjólfsson). Í flokknum þýðingar (Roman hors Québec)
  • 2010 - Prix de Page (Frakkland): Rosa Candida
  • 2008 - Menningarverðlaun DV í bókmenntum: Afleggjarinn
  • 2008 - Fjöruverðlaunin, bókmenntaverðlaun kvenna: Afleggjarinn
  • 2004 - Bókmenntaverðlaun Tómasar Guðmundssonar: Rigning í nóvember

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir - Literature Web". City of literature UNESCO (in Icelandic). 15 April 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  2. ^ Peras, Delphine (May 5, 2014). "Audur Ava Olafsdottir, Islandaise d'exception". L'Express. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  3. ^ "Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir". Pushkin Press. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Brandsma, Elliott. "Every Novel Has a Music of Its Own". Stúdentablaðið. University of Iceland. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  5. ^ Dagsdóttir, Úlfhildur (2011). "Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir". Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Interviews with Icelandic Authors: Auður A. Ólafsdóttir". Icelandic Literature Center. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Berwick, Isabel (December 27, 2013). "Butterflies in November, by Audur Ava Olafsdóttir". The Financial Times. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Schottenius, Maria (March 23, 2015). "Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir: "Rosa Candida"". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Kyzer, Larissa (December 5, 2011). "Three Percent Review: The Greenhouse". Three Percent. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  10. ^ Guerrera, Antonello (July 16, 2013). "Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir - "Il vero segreto? Sconfiggere la crisi con lo humour"". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  11. ^ DNB entry for Schmetterling in November
  12. ^ Worldcat entry for The Greenhouse
  13. ^ Worldcat entry for Rosa Candida
  14. ^ Walton-Lange, Lucy (November 7, 2013). "Exclusive interview with Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir". Female First. Retrieved June 28, 2015.

External links[edit]