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Audur Ava Olafsdottir Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Greenhouse (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Butterflies in November (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hotel Silence (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Iceland (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Animal Life (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Audur Ava Olafsdottir is a popular Icelandic author that writes novels, poems, and plays. Audur is primarily renowned in Iceland, though she has found some success in the United States.


Audur Ava Olafsdottir was born in 1958 in Reykjavik. Audur’s family was quite large, consisting of five children. The author was the fourth child and she believes that her position amongst her siblings contributed to her feeling of invisibility in the family.

Though, Audur would like to believe that the experience enabled her to enjoy so much more freedom than her brothers and sisters. Because people tended to overlook her, Audur Ava Olafsdottir found that she was able to go her own way and experiment.

As a child, Audur has a wild imagination. She did not necessarily know that she would grow up to become a writer. However, she knew from very early on that she loved telling stories and that whatever career she pursued would allow her to do just that.

Audur remembers being disturbed by the fact that she spoke a language that most people in the world had never heard of. The realization led her to understand just how isolated Iceland was from the rest of the world.

Audur was only five-years-old at the time. She determined that she wanted to build bridges and connections with the rest of the world. And that determination led her to learn a few new languages, the first of which was Germany.

It wasn’t until Audur Ava Olafsdottir became a writer that she realized the benefit that her little-known language as a citizen of Iceland held. First, her artistic endeavors taught her that every language provided a unique mode of communication that tended to taint the stories told within that language, giving them a distinct structure and shape.

That meant that with the Icelandic language, Audur was in place to tell stories unique to her and her countrymen. She had a structure of storytelling that only she could contribute to the publishing arena.

Additionally, Audur realized that the mystique that surrounded her language made the books she wrote so much more appealing to foreign markets. The author’s first book debuted in 1998. ‘Raised Earth’ immediately set Audur apart from her Icelandic counterparts.

The author was hardly the first person from Iceland to succeed as an author. However, like its neighbors, Iceland’s publishing arena was primarily known for its crime fiction. In fact, every Icelandic author of note that had made a splash in the United States and Europe at the time was associated with a particular fictional detective he or she had created.

Audur Ava Olafsdottir’s works were a breath of fresh air. Her first book and the books that followed in the late 1990s and 2000s told simple stories about simple people doing simple things. Audur’s books took the ordinary aspects of life, the basic struggles and trials and triumphs of existence and expounded upon them, introducing to readers charming male and female protagonists with strange quirks.

Audur initially balanced her writing efforts with her career as a teacher. Audur studied Art history in Paris (Sorbonne). She became a professor of the subject at the University of Iceland.

She also did some work for the museum at the University as Art Director. Eventually, though, she quit and decided to become a full-time writer. The author spends a lot of her time in cafes.

That is where she gets most of her writing done. Audur Ava Olafsdottir’s talents lie in her ability to dissect the smaller things of life. She has been praised for her meticulous use of language, though some of the English translations of her books have been criticized for failing to effectively interpret the spirit behind some of her words.

+The Greenhouse

Lobbi is a young man that intends to leave his home, aging father and autistic brother behind. However, obstacles have arisen and made that all but impossible. First, his mother dies.

Lobbi receives a phone call informing him of his mother’s car accident. The woman is lucid enough when Lobbi finally speaks to her. With her dying words, she asks him to continue the work they begun in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse holds a special place in Lobbi’s heart, not only because of the work he did with his mother tending to the rare rosa candida but also because it was the place where he made love to Anna.
Anna was just a friend of a friend at the time, and Lobbi always looked upon their brief night together with fondness. News of Anna’s pregnancy leaves Lobbi shaken. The young man has a lot of decisions to make, decisions that will shape his future.

The Greenhouse is a rather quiet Audur Ava Olafsdottir novel. The book follows a young man that must deal with the unexpected birth of his daughter and the death of his mother after receiving a job offer overseas.

Audur initially runs off to tend a famous rose garden. But as the story progresses, he is forced to contend with the problems he left back home. This includes an aging father who needs help figuring out his wife’s recipes and a child for whom he is unprepared and unwilling to take responsibility.

+Butterflies in November

The narrator of this story is having a bad day. She has been dumped on two separate occasions, and she has accidentally killed a goose. So she’s looking forward to a tropical holiday that will take her as far away from her problems as she can possibly get.

The narrator has no idea what to expect when a friend’s mute and deaf son is left in her care. She definitely doesn’t expect to take him on a long trip after a lottery ticket wins both of them millions of Kroner.

‘Butterflies in November’ has been described as a willfully eccentric novel. The story it tells follows an emotionally detached woman whose name is withheld. The narrator is a translator with an expansive database of languages.

She doesn’t like children and is less than enthused when a friend asks her to care for her disabled son. The two of them end up having a good time.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Audur Ava Olafsdottir

One Response to “Audur Ava Olafsdottir”

  1. gordana: 1 year ago

    i m still reading book, i believe she talks here about fish whose name is Lobby,(as lobbster) his father fish older , life in a bowl, Lobby as a leading character also mentiones botanics such as gras artificial or not who would know.. etc. Still reading


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