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Svava Jakobsdóttir


Svava Jakobsdóttir was born in Neskaupstaður, a small fishing village, in 1930. Her father was a Lutheran pastor and a writer. The family later moved to Canada but then moved back to Reykjavik five years later. However, by this time, she and her siblings were speaking English to one another and they took time to readjust to Iceland. After school, she studied first at Smith college in the United States and then at Oxford University. She later went to Sweden with her husband where she worked in the Icelandic Embassy and also studied Swedish literature, while her husband studied for his doctorate in theology. When they returned to Iceland, she worked as a teacher and journalist as well as a radio producer. It was at this time that she started publishing her stories. Many of them dealt with the position of women and girls in Iceland. She published her first novel in 1969 – Leigjandinn (The Lodger). In addition to two novels and short stories, she also wrote plays. She was elected to parliament in 1971 for the left-wing party Alþydubandalagid (The People’s Alliance), which had campaigned against US bases in Iceland. She died in 2004.

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Svava Jakobsdóttir
Jakobsdóttir, Svava
Jakobsdóttir, Svava


1965 Tólf konur (stories)
1967 Veisla undir grjótvegg (stories)
1969 Leigjandinn (The Lodger) (novel)
1979 Sögur (stories)
1982 Gefid hvort ödru . . . (stories)
1983 Reykjavík Lokaæfing Idunn (stories)
1986 Endurkoma (stories)
1987 Smásögur (stories)
1987 Gunnladar saga (Gunnlöth’s Tale) (novel)
1989 Undir eldfjalli (stories)
1999 Skyggnst á bak vid sky (stories)
2001 Sögur handa öllum: Veisla undir grjótvegg; Gefid hvort ödru . . .; Undir eldfjalli (stories)
2003 Hvad er í blyhólknum? (stories)