Culture

Famous Writers from Iceland

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List of famous writers from Iceland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Iceland is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Icelander writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Iceland and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different writers, including Hannes Hafstein and Einarr Helgason.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Icelander writers?" and "Which writers are from Iceland?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Iceland in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Iceland, but they're all of Iceland descent.
1
Arnaldur Indriðason is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 58
Arnaldur Indriðason is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction; most of his books feature the protagonist Detective Erlendur.
2
Baltasar Kormákur is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 53
Baltasar Kormákur Samper is an Icelandic actor, theater and film director, and film producer. He is known professionally as Baltasar Kormákur. He is best known for directing the ...more
3
Halldór Laxness is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
Dec. at 96 (1902-1998)
Halldór Kiljan Laxness was a twentieth-century Icelandic writer. Throughout his career Laxness wrote poetry, newspaper articles, plays, travelogues, short stories, and novels. Major ...more
4
Friðrik Þór Friðriksson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 65
Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, sometimes credited as Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, is an Icelandic film director. He started his film making career with experimental films and ...more
5
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 56
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson is an Icelandic actor who has worked extensively in Icelandic cinema. He is perhaps best known for his roles in Friðrik Þór Friðriksson's Angels ...more
6
Bobby Fischer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
Dec. at 65 (1943-2008)
Robert James "Bobby" Fischer was an American chess prodigy, grandmaster, and the eleventh World Chess Champion. Many consider him the greatest chess player of all time. At age 13 ...more
7
Sjón is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 57
Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson, known as Sjón, is an Icelandic poet, novelist, and lyricist. His pen name is an abbreviation of his given name. Sjón frequently collaborates ...more
8
Ólafur Elíasson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 52
Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s ...more
9
Jón Þór Birgisson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 44
Jón Þór "Jónsi" Birgisson is the guitarist and vocalist for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. He is known for his use of a cello bow on guitar ...more
10
Dagur Kári is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 46
Dagur Kári is an Icelandic film director. He was born in Paris, France to Icelandic parents and returned to Iceland when he was 3 years old. Dagur graduated from the National Film School ...more
11
Valdís Óskarsdóttir is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 69
Valdís Óskarsdóttir is a film editor, director and screenwriter.
12
Olaf de Fleur Johannesson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 44
Olaf de Fleur is an Icelandic film director, scriptwriter and producer. Born in 1975 in Búðardalur, Iceland, Olaf has been a dedicated filmmaker for over a decade. He founded his own ...more
13
Snorri Sturluson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
Dec. at 62 (1179-1241)
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was elected twice as a lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger ...more
14
Ágúst Guðmundsson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 72
Ágúst Guðmundsson is an Icelandic film director and screenwriter. He studied French, Icelandic in Reykjavík and filmmaking at the National Film School in London. He has ...more
15
Runar Runarsson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 42
Rúnar Rúnarsson is an Icelandic screenwriter and director. Films for which he is credited as both writer and director include the feature film Volcano and the short films Anna, Two ...more
16
Jóhann Jóhannsson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 50
Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic composer born in Reykavik in Iceland. As a composer he has been identified with minimalist, neo-classical, drone, and electronic music. ...more
17
Kjartan Sveinsson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 41
Kjartan "Kjarri" Sveinsson is former keyboardist for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. He joined the band in 1998. A multi-instrumentalist, he has also played such ...more
18
Óskar Jónasson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 56
Óskar Jónasson is an Icelandic film director and screenwriter. His film Remote Control was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. His most ...more
19
Ísold Uggadóttir is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
Ísold Uggadóttir is a screenwriter, film editor, film director & film producer.
20
Þráinn Bertelsson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 75
Þráinn Bertelsson is an Icelandic film director, writer, politician, journalist and newspaper editor. He moved into politics in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008, and was ...more
21
Georg Hólm is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 43
Georg "Goggi" Hólm is the bassist of the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. He is the most prominent member of Sigur Rós in the English press, as he does ...more
22
Sólveig Anspach is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
Sólveig Anspach age 59
Sólveig Anspach is an Icelandic film director and screenwriter living in France. She has directed nine films since 1998. Her film Stormy Weather was screened in the Un Certain Regard ...more
23
Jon Gustafsson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 56
Jon Gustafsson is an Iceland born film director. The Icelandic spelling of his name is Jón Gústafsson. Best known for directing the Canadian documentary film Wrath of Gods, ...more
24
Jørgen Jørgensen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
Dec. at 61 (1780-1841)
Jørgen Jørgensen was a Danish adventurer during the Age of Revolution. During the Action of 2 March 1808 his ship was captured by the British. In 1809 he sailed to Iceland, ...more
25
Einar Már Guðmundsson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Iceland
age 65
Einar Már Guðmundsson is an Icelandic author of novels, short stories, and poetry. His books have been translated into several languages.