About the author
Gyrðir Elíasson grew up in Sauðárkrókur in northwest Iceland, but now lives in Reykjavik. His first poetry collection was published in 1983. Since then he has published poetry collections, novels and collections of short stories. He is also a diligent translator, mainly from English, including some of William Saroyan's and Richard Brautigan's works. For years Gyrðir has been labelled "the great stylist" in Icelandic contemporary literature. He won the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2000 for his collection of short stories Gula húsið and has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize (1991 and 2002) before winning the prize in 2011.
About the winning piece
“Milli trjánna” is a collection of 47 new short stories, all characterised by the effortless, image-rich style that graces Gyrðir's works. Content-wise this collection is close to the writer's former novels and short prose. As before, one can clearly feel the different forms of unease and mystery, as well as loneliness, dreams, travels, childhood memories and future visions, and also the charming humour, the readers know from the previous works. “Milli trjánna” is Gyrðir Elíasson's eighth collection of short stories, which like his previous collection “Steintré” in 2009, was nominated for the prestigious Frank O’Connor literary award.
Published by: Uppheimar
Publication year: 2009
This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say
The Icelandic author Gyrðir Elíasson has won the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2011 for his short story collection Milli trjánna for stylistically outstanding literary art which depicts inner and outer threats in dialogue with world literature.