About Thórarinn Leifsson

English

Leifsson readin with swine fluThórarinn Leifsson is an Icelandic author and illustrator, born in 1966. He graduated from the Icelandic Academy of Arts in Reykjavik in 1989 and worked as an illustrator and web designer for several years before making his literary debut with Father’s Big Secret in 2007 – a dark tale for children about a cannibal father and his complicated relationship with his children.

In 2009 Leifsson wrote Grandmother’s Library for children and young adults, a work inspired by the bank collapse and what the author felt was the empty materialism of Icelandic society in the years leading up to the crisis. The book was awarded the Reykjavik Children Books Prize in 2010 and nominated for the Nordic Children’s Book Prize in 2011.

In 2001 Leifsson wrote an autobiographical novel called Street Painter, based on his experiences as a vagabond in southern Spain and Morocco in the late eighties. Although illustrated like much of Leifsson’s other work, Street painter targets a more mature audience.

The Man Who Hated Children is Leifsson’s latest novel for children and young adults, published in the autumn of 2014. In the sense of style the book continues were Grandmother’s Library left off. The setting is a twisted present day Reykjavik with elements of crime fiction in the storyline. The Man Who Hated Children was Nominated for The Icelandic Literary Prize, the foremost prize of the northern nation.

Leifsson’s first stageplay, The Foreign Kid, premiered in the same period. The 70 minutes piece produced by independent theater company Glenna, is intended for 6 actors in 8 roles and deals with immigration and cultural nationalism in Iceland. The show received much praise and attention from the media and all 9 shows before Christmas were sold out with plans to reopen in the spring of 2015. Quite an achievement for an independent theater production in Iceland.

The rights to Leifsson’s books are managed by Forlagid and have so far been sold to Germany, Denmark, Norway, Faroe Islands, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Brasil, Hungary and Turkey. Please contact Ua (ua@forlagid.is) and Vala (vala@forlagid.is) for more information.

Thórarinn Leifsson now lives in Berlin and Reykjavík with his wife and colleague Audur Jonsdottir and their son Leifur Otto (2011) and Leifsson’s daugther, Salka (1992).