After a grueling solo expedition on Vatnajökull Glacier, Austrian toponymist Bernhardt Fingerberg returns to civilization, barely alive, and into the care of Dr. Lassi. The doctor, suspicious of his story, attempts to discover his real motives for venturing into the treacherous wastelands of Iceland—but the secrets she unravels may be more dangerous than they’re worth.

Öræfi: The Wasteland was a winner of the Icelandic Literature Prize and was chosen by the booksellers of Iceland as the best novel of 2015.




The book talk will be moderated by translator Lytton Smith. Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

“Sigurdsson is without a doubt one of the best writers of his generation.” —Frettabladid

Sponsored by the Icelandic Literature Center and with support from Iceland Naturally.


About the Author

Poet and author Ófeigur Sigurðsson was born in Reykjavík on November 2, 1975. He has published six books of poetry and two novels. Ófeigur has tried his hand at a number of things: working as a uniformed night-watchman at a hotel, pre-packing ham and bacon at a factory farm, exercising his brawn as a dock worker, and exercising his brains as a student at the Philosophy Department of the University of Iceland, from where he received his BA degree in 2007, with a thesis on the taboo and transgression in the works of Georges Bataille.

Ófeigur is at the forefront of a poetic movement of dynamic young creative people, who have recently had a hand in reshaping the form of Icelandic poetry. He has translated literature and written for radio on writers including Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Michel Houellebecq.

About the Translator

Lytton Smith (born 1982) is an Anglo-American poet and translator. His poetry collections include The All-Purpose Magical Tent (Nightboat Books, 2009), which was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Nightboat Books Poetry Prize in 2009, and a previous chapbook, Monster Theory, selected by Kevin Young for the Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship in 2008. He has taught at Columbia University, Fordham University, and Plymouth University, and is currently a professor at SUNY-Geneseo.

In addition to his work translation Jón Gnarr, he has translated two other novels from Icelandic: The Ambassador, by Bragi Ólafsson (Open Letter,  2010) and A Child in Reindoor Woods by Kristín Ómarsdóttir (Open Letter, 2012), and his translation of Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Gudbergur Bergsson is forthcoming from Open Letter Books.



Images courtesy Deep Vellum Publishing

TUE—October 9—7 PM, free