north

The latest addition to my website is Indriði G. Þorsteinsson/Indridii G Thorsteinsson‘s Norðan við stríð (North of War). This novel is based on a little-known episode of World War II, when British troops occupied Iceland in May 1940, to forestall a German invasion. The Icelandic government reluctantly accepted the invasion though maintained their neutrality. The novel however, tells of the effect of the British and their occupation on the small town of Akureyri (not named in the book). The women prefer the British men to their own men. The economy is dramatically changed as many of the men will work on the airfield the British are constructing and the Icelanders will be exposed to some new technology. While offering some criticism, Þorsteinsson treats it to a considerable degree as a light-hearted episode in Iceland’ s history and uses the opportunity to mock both the British and his own countrymen. This is the only one of his novels translated into English.