Jón Gnarr, world-famous Icelandic comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík, discusses The Indian (translated by Lytton Smith, Deep Vellum Publishing, May 2015) – his highly entertaining and semi-fictitious memoir detailing his riotous upbringing. Subjected to constant bullying as a child, the young Gnarr found sanctuary in Westerns where he was always rooting for the Indians to defeat the bully cowboys.

Diagnosed as “intellectually disabled” because of his severe dyslexia and ADHD, Gnarr spent several years as a child in a children’s psychiatry ward He finally got out, only to find himself subject to ridicule in regular schools for being slow…and red-haired. The Indian is told with a warmth and humor that allow Gnarr’s unique personality to shine through.Copies of the book will also be available for purchase and signing following the program.

About Jón Gnarr

Jón Gnarr (b. 1967) was diagnosed as a child with dyslexia and ADHD. He nevertheless overcame his hardships and went on to become one of Iceland’s most well-known actors and comedians. In 2006 he published the first two volumes of his fictionalized autobiography; Deep Vellum Publishing will publish the trilogy in full 2015-16.

In late 2009 Gnarr, alongside a number of friends with no background in politics, formed the satirical Best Party, which parodied Icelandic politics and aimed to make the life of Icelandic citizens more fun. In 2010 the Best Party managed a plurality win in the municipal elections in Reykjavík and Gnarr became the city’s mayor.

Gnarr’s other work includes the book GNARR! How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World (Melville House, 2014), numerous movies, including The Icelandic Dream/Íslenski draumurinn (directed by Róbert I. Douglas, Iceland, 2000), A Man Like Me/Maður eins og ég (directed by Róbert I. Douglas, Iceland, 2002), and Mr. Bjarnfreðarson/Bjarnfreðarson (directed by Ragnar Bragason, Iceland, 2009), and the award-winning television mini-series The Night Shift/Næturvaktin (Iceland, 2007).

In 2014 Gnarr won the prestigious Lennon-Ono Peace Prize for his dedicated work to promoting peace through humor and understanding around the world.



Photo by the American-Scandinavian Foundation

TUE – 4-21-15 – 6:30 PM