Andri Snær Magnason
Andri Snaer Magnason was born in 1973 in Reykjavík and studied Icelandic literature. After writing his final dissertation about poet Ísak Harðarson, he did research work at the Árni Magnússon Institute on a collection of audio recordings of Icelandic folk poetry as another part of the cultural heritage of his country. Working together with the label Bad Taste, this project resulted in the release of a CD (»Raddir«, 1998; tr. Voices) which received an award from the President of Iceland.
Magnason also found an unusual way to bring culture closer to a wide public when he published his poetry collection »Bónusljóð« (1996; en. »Bonus Poetry«). Bónus, the country’s only supermarket chain sold the volume of poems with great success. Another area Magnason is interested in is protecting nature and the environment. In his children’s book »Sagan af bláa hnettinum« (1999; en. »The Story of the Blue Planet«) he tells how the child-like, non-aging inhabitants of an Earth-like planet pay the price of losing their youth when a travelling salesman provides them with the technological ability to fly. When the main characters Brimir and Hulda discover that they can only have their fun at the cost of other children who are struggling for survival on the other side of the planet which has now been plunged into shadow because of the interference with nature, they do everything they can to save their shared world. In his novel »LoveStar« (2002) Magnason also looks at a future society in which data can be transferred directly into people’s heads who, freed from the need to use external devices, have to struggle with the increasingly complex relationship between reality and the virtual world. The fact that he does not reject new media like computer games, and is instead interested in and questions them, is evident in his collaboration with the developers of the game »EVE Online« campaigning together against the destruction of Iceland’s wilderness by the aluminium industry. Magnason dealt with his protest experiences in the non-fictional work »Draumalandið« (2006; en. »Dreamland. A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation«), before he went on to be co-director in 2009 of a documentary film of the same name. This book received the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2006 as well as the KAIROS Prize in 2010. His current novel »Tímakistan« (2013) also won the 2013 Icelandic Literature Prize as the best book in the category children and youth. It is about a mad king that wants to conquer time after conquering the whole world and has some playful references to the global financial crisis.
Andri Snaer Magnason lives in Reykjavík.