pétur gunnarsson


Writer | Iceland


Pétur Gunnarsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, on June 15th, 1947. He received his Masters degree in philosophy from Université d´Aix-Marseille in France in 1975.

Gunnarsson´s novel punktur punktur komma strik appeared in 1976 to acclaim, the first of four books about the boy Andri. The last one, Sagan öll (The Whole Story), was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1987. Gunnarsson has published a number of other novels, three of which have been nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize. His two volume biography about the Icelandic author, Þórbergur Þórðarson (1888-1974), received the prize for non-fiction in Iceland in 2009.


Gunnarsson has also translated works by foreign authors, among them Flaubert´s Madame Bovary for which he received the DV Cultural Prize in 1996. Among works he has translated is Georges Perec´s (Les Choses) and the two first volumes of Proust´s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. His translation of Tristes tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss appeared in 2011 and was nominated for the „Translator´s Prize“, that year.


Gunnarsson has also done work for radio and television, a recent one is a four episode T.V. program about the 18th century in Iceland and Europe and a fourteen episode Radio series about the Icelandic language.


Gunnrasson has written a number of articles on literature and culture and taken an active part in social debates in Iceland. A selection of his articles has been published in three volumes.


Gunnarsson served as president of the Writer´s Union of Iceland 2006-2010. Gunnarsson´s wife, Hrafnhildur Ragnarsdóttir, is a professor of child psychology at the University of Iceland and they have two sons.


Works by Gunnarsson in translations:


In Swedish:

Punkt punkt komma tankstreck (Forum, 1978)


In French:

Point point virgule tiret (Joseph K, 1998)


In German:

punkt punkt komma strich (Weidle, 2011)

ich meiner mir mich (Weidle, 2012)

Die Rollen und ihre Darsteller (Weidle, 2013)

Das vierte Buch über Andri (Weidle, 2014)