Asst. Prof. Rúnar Helgi Vignisson, March 6, 2012

“Blue Birds from the Dreamland (Iceland’s Modern Economy)”

Watch the program here.

A graduate of the University of Iowa, Runar H. Vignisson is a distinguished author and translator who has been the recipient of a number of illustrious awards for his work, including The Icelandic Translation Award for his translation of J. M. Coetzee’s “Disgrace” and the Reykjavík City Children’s Literature Award for his translation of Kenneth Opel’s “Sunwing” Furthermore, Vignisson has crucially translated many books by acclaimed American authors, such as Philip Roth, Amy Tan, Cormac McCarthy, and William Faulkner. On top of his career in translation,

Vignisson has proven himself as a prolific and creative writer. He is the author of six books of fiction (with the seventh forthcoming later this year). His short stories have been featured in Icelandic, German, and Spanish anthologies. Professor Vignisson is currently Assistant Professor and Director of the recently established Creative Writing Program at the University of Iceland.

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” Shakespeare had one of his characters say in Hamlet.Coming from a former Danish colony, Vignisson will be addressing the conditions and characteristics of the Icelandic nation that may have contributed to the world scale failures of the banks in his small Nordic dreamland. He will look in the rear view mirror for a while, ruminate on his Norse Heritage, and draw a picture of the current situation in this miniature world.

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