List of published Works.
1. The Beginning. (Poems 1989.)
2. Untold Miracles. (Prose 1989.)
3. Bolder Violet. (Poems 1990.)
4. In Far-Away Land. (Short stories 1990.)
5. The Son of the Shadow. (Novel 1992.)
6. Today. (Seven one-act plays 1993.)
7. Vísland. (Collection of earlier works together with five essays on the mind and consciousness.)
8. The Return of the Divine Mary. (Novel 1996. Was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize.)
9. The City behind the Words. (Novel 1998. Got the Tómas Guðmundsson Literary Prize from the city of Reykjavík.)
10. The Guardian of Silence. (Novel 1999.)
11. Games. (Three price-winning one-act plays, shown at Iðnó theatre 2000.)
12. The Cannibal woman and her husband. (Novel 2001.) Got the Halldór Laxness Literary Prize.13. Andlit. (Faces.) (Autobiographical novel 2004).
14. Bernard Zero. (Novel 2007).16. Ill Repute/Reputation. (Novel 2011).
15. The Ghost Hand/Die Geisterhand. (2008) A children's book.
15. The Ghost Hand/Die Geisterhand. (2008) A children's book.
17. Invitation to a party. (Essays on literature, society and values).
18. The Naked Suitor. (Dream-Journal 2012).
19. A half-touched girl. (Novel 2014).
20. The Doctor´s House. Novel 2018).
Bjarni Bjarnason (b. 1965) began publishing poems in magazines while still in his teens and at the age of twenty wrote a play which was performed by an amateur dramatics society.
In January 1989 Bjarnason published his first book of verse, Upphafið (The Beginning) which contains 36 poems including a metaphysical work of twenty stanzas. In a review in Iceland´s largest daily, Morgunblaðið, on May 18, 1989, the paper´s cultural editor Jóhann Hjálmarsson said: The long poem after which the book is named combines an eloquence and a playfulness which are highly promising.
In January 1989 Bjarnason published his second book, Ótal Kraftaverk (Untold Miracels). In a review in Morgunblaðið on December 5, 1989, writer Erlendur Jónsson described his writing as: powerful with many vigorous turns of phrase - it moves with a cold an stirring breeze.
In September 1990, Bjarnason published two books, a collection of love poetry titled Urðafjóla (Bolder Violet) and a collection of short stories under the title Í Óralandi (In Far-Away Land). In a Morgunblaðið review on November 15, 1990, poet Kjartan Árnason said: “The world is my mistress / and our children that which I write,” says Bjarni Bjarnason in his poem Ástarsaga (Love Story) in his latest verse collection, Urðafjóla. I think that he describes his poetry better in these words than I could in a long article. Someone who loves the world has affection too for man with all his flaws, and at the same time respects life as it is. This is the way they reveal themselves to me, these children of Bjarnason and the world (...)
Í Óralandi is a collection of eleven short stories. Perhaps “short story” is not always the right term; one text, for example, is a letter by Bjarni Bjarnason to the males of the future. But regardless of literary classifications, Bjarnason follows a highly unusual course in this book. With one hand he holds onto the umbilical chord of the universe, with the other a Parker pen, as he jumps up and down on the Earth - sometimes with his feet on the ground, sometimes not. Bjarnason´s fiction seems to hover - but not all up in the air - and is a kind of notion of fiction. And, nota Bene, this is not to be taken as a negative quality. In fact I have considerable difficulty in finding anything that correspond to this notional fiction, he does not exactly write himself into a tradition - at least not any prevailing tradition. And in my opinion this is good news.
In September 1992 Bjarnason published his first novel, Sonur skuggans (The son of the shadow). In Morgunblaðið on December 12, 1992, Jón Özur Snorrason remarked: This is very well done and the book is packed with interesting reflection. Weltschmerz prevails, mixed with humour. The main character´s freedom involves giving his thoughts endless scope. The author´s freedom must surely involve this too.
In September 1993, Bjarnason published seven one-act plays, which may either be performed separately or in sequence to produce a full-length play. Reviewing the book, Dagurinn í dag (Today), for Tíminn daily on March 15, 1994, Haraldur Jóhannsson described how: two of the one-act plays, Hillingavatnið (Water of Mirages) and Nú er lygamælirinn fullur (Lie detector overload), intertwine human life with the cyber-existence of the future. They are clever, even brilliant.
Vísland, published in September 1994, is a collection of all Bjarnason´s earlier works, either as printed or slightly revised, together with five essays on the mind and consciousness. One theme of the essays is words and sentences produced during dreams, and the book also contains an illustration of a very peculiar device, an artist´s impression of a kind of representation of consciousness which Bjarnason dreamt. Jón Özur Snorrason remarked on the book in a review in Morgunblaðið on December 1, 1994: Vísland is divided into seven main sections, with a remarkable strictness of construction. The first section is named Upphafið (The Beginning) and begins with the word “behold” and the last one Endirinn (The End) and ends “the final point.” Between Eden and Hell with man in the centre, presented in poems, short stories, dramatic works and essays. The structure recalls a dramatic piece of music with its framework “borrowed” from Genesis and Revelations (...)
Bjarni Bjarnason examines human life in a religious, historical, philosophical and scientific light. The undertone of his work is largely pessimistic and nihilistic, but always interspersed with humour. It is a Byronic poet who wield this pen, a “new man” in revolt against God and men:
Go out of me God
so that I may die
Go out of me man
so that I may live forever
Bjarni Bjarnason is a powerful poet.
In 1994, Bjarnason founded a literary magazine called Andblær, a forum for many interesting young writers. In 1995 his Sólarlag við sjávarrönd (Sunset at the Shore) won first prize in the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service´s short story competition and was broadcast twice on the radio, accompanied by piano music composed by the author himself.
Bjarnason´s second novel, Endurkoma Maríu (The Return of the Divine Mary), appeared in 1996. After its nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize the same year, the author was interviewed in all the main media in Iceland where he discussed the Virgin Mary and the book. In a review in DV daily on December 5, 1996, Sigríður Albertsdóttir wrote: The Virgin Mary in modern society. What would that woman be like and how would she be received? This is the question Bjarni Bjarnason poses in his novel The Return of the Divine Mary, and develops it into an original and interesting novel. (...)
I do not intend to spoil the experience for other readers by sharing my own reflections on the message and conclusions of this unique and exciting book. Readers should find that out for themselves. But I predict that very few people will be disappointed by reading it.
In 1998, Bjarnason got the Tómas Guðmundsson Literary Prize from the City of Reykjavík for his novel, Borgin bak við Orðin. (The City Behind the Words). The story is about a boy named Immanuel Mercurous, who at the age of seven, wakes up one morning in a big, modern city he does not know. When people ask him who he is, he says that he is a prince, and starts telling stories from the kingdom of his father. People find him strange, but cannot help listening to his mysterious stories. Soon he is living by telling his stories out in the open. As he gets older the question if the stories are true ore pure fiction becomes more pressing. The later book about Immanuel Mercurous came in 1999 and is called Næturvörður Kyrrðarinnar (The Guardian of Silence).
Sigríður Albertsdóttir said in a review on Borgin bak við Orðin in DV daily in December 1998: Borgin bak við Orðin is a complicated work, full of symbols which are not always easy to understand except deep in the subconscious where the universal arctypes have their domain. But this is exactly the magic of the text. It sends the reader into another world, and is totally spellbinding in its divine beauty. The text is so poetic and full of wisdom that you want to learn it all by hart.
In 1999, Bjarnason won a prize for three one-act plays called Games, and were they put up in Iðnó theatre in the spring 2000.
In 2001, Bjarnason got the Literary Prize named after the Icelandic Nobel prize winner Halldór Laxness, The Halldór Laxness Literary Prize, for his latest book: The Cannibalwoman and her Husband.
In the winter 2000 issue of the international magazine, WORLD LITERATURE TODAY, Kristen Wolf from the University of Manitoba, gave Borgin bak við orðin the following critique:
“Bjarni Bjarnason is no doubt one of the most remarkable Icelandic authors of his generation (...)
Borgin bak við orðin is a sophisticated and extraordinary piece of work (...)
Immanuel (the main character in the book) raises many important, profound, and relevant issues with his audience, the reader, and provides them with, if not truth, then fiction of almost divine inspiration.