Kristín Eiríksdóttir

Kristín Eiríksdóttir
Dino Ignani
Kristín Eiríksdóttir: Elín, ýmislegt. Novel, Forlagið, 2017. Nominated for the 2019 Nordic Council Literature Prize.


“I have been so many women,” says the aging protagonist of Elín, ýmislegt (“Elín, miscellaneous”) to a young girl, and thinks the girl laughs unnecessarily loudly. Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s novel is about many facets of women’s self-perception. You can give a good impression, create a better impression, or falsify the self-perception you display to the world. In today’s virtual reality, anything is possible. The main character, Elín, is a scenographer who creates bodies and body parts that must be credible. They are worthless unless they have the right look. But reality does not always look like this. A battered female body is a theme that turns up several times in the book, either as a prop or a reality. 

The Elín of the novel apparently tries to erase her emotional life while appropriating the emotional lives of others, and the characters blend more or less into one. Their names are similar and mixed together, and Elín is to some extent many women, as she points out. Her strongest emotions relate to childhood and death, and her relationship with the child Ellen must be seen in this light. Eventually, meaning and the link with language disappear out of Elín’s life. We are left with the questions: ‘How can a woman know who she is and what she is called?’ and ‘How many women can one woman be?’ 

The main themes of Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s writings are longing for love and understanding and the struggle against isolation, loneliness, abuse, violence and horror. The novel Elín, ýmislegt is a clear example of this. We hear a young woman’s powerful voice in an artistic and focused text. 

Kristín Eiríksdóttir, the author of the novel Elín, ýmislegt, was born in 1981. She made her debut as a poet and has also written novels, short stories and plays. Kristín is also a trained visual artist and has participated in group exhibitions and happenings.