The City behind the Words was published in the year 1998 and recieved The Tómas Guðmundsson Literary Award (from the City of Reykjavík) that same year.
The City behind the Words "..is a sophisticated and extraordinary piece of work, in which stories of a peculiar kingdom are skillfully interwoven with tales of an unknown city."
"Immanúel's stories combine the naïveté of a child with the wisdom of an adult in a type of lyrical prose that reaches heights of great beauty. Immanúel raises many important, profound, and relevant issues with his audience, the readers, and provides them with, if not truth, then fiction of almost divine inspiration." Kristen Wolf University of Manitoba. (World Literature today - 74:1 - Winter 2000)
The Novel was very well recieved by Critics:
"The City behind the Words shows the Authors rich imagination who manages to create an enchanting world (...) It is a great pleasure that the Fantasy form now has a voice in Icelandic literature." Þröstur Helgason for the Morning Paper.
"The Text is so poetic, pure and full of wisdom that you would want to memorize it all so that you can use it when wisdom fades and beauty betrays." Sigríður Albertsdóttir DV.
"Bjarni Bjarnason is no doubt one of the most remarkable of Icelandic authors of his generation," Kristen Wolf University of Manitoba. (World Literature today - 74:1 - Winter 2000)