The author Arnaldur Indriðason


Arnaldur Indriðason is Iceland’s pride. He is a topping bestseller with his books. Received several awards such as Glass Key award in 2002 and 2003 for the Best Nordic crime award for his series of crime novels, Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger award in 2005 for his book “Silence of the Grave” and he won the world’s most lucrative fiction award for his novel “Shadow Channel” in 2013 at the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing. Not only that his book “Mýrin” was acknowledged internationally and was even made into a movie, the “Jar City” which was directed by another Iceland’s pride director Baltasar Kormákur. The film also received several awards such as Crystal Globe and FICC Don Quijote Prize at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2007, Film of the Year at EDDA Awards in 2006, Best Film at The International Film Festival in Valenciennes, France in 2008 and many more. Arnaldur Indridason’s work is indeed an award winning piece both in books and in films. Icelanders are very proud to have him.
Looking back at Arnaldur Indridason’s roots and what he had achieved really symbolizes success in all areas. Arnaldur was born in Reykjavik on January 28, 1961. He is the son of also a notable writer in Iceland, Indriði G. Þorsteinsson. He took his first steps of success working as a journalist for the newspaper Morgunblaðið from 1981-1982 and worked as a freelance writer in the later years. Then in 1996 he graduated from the University of Iceland with a degree in history. He had been a resident film critic at Morgunblaðið from 1986-2001 but as he was doing his day jobs and busy with his studies and graduation he was working with some novels of his own to publish as well. His first novel came out in 1997, “Sons of Dust” and it was the beginning of his success. This has been the first part of his 11 novel series about his protagonist Detective Erlendur. In 2004, his books rated in the top 10 most popular in Reykjavík City Library. Now his books have been published in 26 countries and translated in 21 languages. Internationally, his books are claimed addictive from all the readers and book critics around the globe.
Though Iceland has faced a lot of challenges and ups and downs over the past decades, Arnaldur is a reflection of hard work and success just like Iceland who went from a peasant country to now a very rich and modern society. Arnaldur is a great fan of movies as well. As a kid, through his developmental years and his maturity, he was always at the cinema and he had seen a lot and criticizes a lot. He said it is a very good upbringing for a writer to go to the movies. In films, he had learned what to write and what not to write. For every aspiring writer, Arnaldur’s way of directing himself to being a successful writer is the simplest to follow. He even has some advice for all writers out there and quote; “My method is not to know what’s taking place. The themes of my story I will know, but not who the characters are. The greatest fun when I’m working on the story is to look at what I’m writing and say ‘What? What? Is this what happens?’ And then the reader will enjoy it too. This is my advice: Surprise yourself!”
As an Icelander, Arnaldur is also a rooted local. He had studied and embraced thirteenth-century Icelandic Sagas which for him was one of the core of his novels. The Saga’s point and theme are about revenge, honor, family loyalty and the like. The stories are direct and concise. Arnaldur also writes this way. He also strongly believes that the Icelandic language shouldn’t be overwhelmed by English and it should be preserved. Arnaldur is a true Icelander indeed, he still sees the future of Icelanders being Icelanders and not becoming one of the foreign countries that tried to invade Iceland.