LOVE TO READ? WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ICELAND?
Join us for the 2023 Iceland Readers Retreat!
Featuring Geraldine Brooks
At the Iceland Readers Retreat, avid readers gather to listen to small group lectures and talks by renowned authors while learning about the rich literary heritage of this Nordic, book-loving nation. We will have panels, talks, lectures, and discussions led by prominent authors. Running concurrently with the popular Iceland Writers Retreat (IWR), participants will have the opportunity to join readings and other programs with IWR faculty.
The perfect place to discover literary inspiration.”– The Daily Beast
ABOUT THE RETREAT
Literary-themed Golden Circle Tour
A unique variation on Iceland’s most popular excursion that includes stops at Geyser geothermal fields, Gullfoss waterfall, and the UNESCO-listed Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), as well as a visit to Iceland’s ancient seat of learning, Skálholt.
This trip travels west to the Borgarfjörður region, setting of the famous Egil’s Saga, as well as numerous other Icelandic sagas. We’ll circle the picturesque Hvalfjörður “Whale” fjord and visit the cultural centre Reykholt, where chieftain and writer Snorri Sturluson lived in the 13th century. Natural wonders on this tour include Europe’s largest hot spring, Deildartunguhver, and the waterfalls Barnafoss (“Children’s Falls”) and Hraunfossar (“Lava Falls”).
Note: Iceland Readers Retreat participants will likely take part in a different day tour in 2023. More details to be posted.
Reykjavik Literary Walking Tour
During the retreat, all participants are also invited to join a literary walking tour of Reykjavik, organized by the UNESCO City of Literature.
We’ll discover some of Iceland’s magnificent cultural treasures on a special tour of one of Reykjavik’s top museums.
ABOUT THE RETREAT
Lectures & Panels
Panel Discussion with Icelandic Authors
Meet some of Iceland’s top authors at a panel discussion organized by Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature. The panel will include writers from various genres and introduce participants to Iceland’s vibrant literary scene. The 2022 panel included: Gerður Kristný (poetry), Fríða Ísberg (poetry and short stories), Ævar Þór Benediktsson (children’s books), and Lilja Sigurðardóttir (crime fiction). We will announce the 2023 panel closer to the event.
Lecture & Interactive Discussion led by the Featured Author
Geraldine Brooks, our featured author for 2023, will give a talk and lead a discussion entitled: Bringing Out the Dead: How Historical Fiction Works.
Henry James famously decreed that any attempt to write about a time more than 50 years removed from one’s own was worthless and shouldn’t be attempted. Geraldine Brooks begs to differ. In the first part of this workshop, she will argue for the value of probing and recreating the consciousness of the past and describe the methods she uses to access it, with special reference to her books Horse and The Secret Chord. In the second part of the workshop, she will discuss Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, reading selections that exemplify certain aspects of Mantel’s masterful technique. The format will be talk, followed by discussion and Q & A.
Participate in IWR Sessions
IRR participants can also attend the Q&A panel and reading night by the IWR featured authors.
Participants will be provided with a short list of suggested books to read in advance that will be discussed during the event. These include: Horse, The Secret Chord, and any or all of the novels: Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, The Mirror and the Light.
Iceland Readers Retreat Book Club
Join the IRR book club, an online opportunity to connect with the literature of the in-person retreat and the IWR faculty. Hosted on the Fable platform, the book club allows members to buy ebooks and read them together while sharing highlights, comments, links, and pictures as they discuss books. Members of the club can share their experiences in Iceland and with the talented writers featured at the IRR and IWR. The book club offers the chance to read and connect with participants long after the event ends. Books we have already read include The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, At the Stranger’s Gate by Adam Gopnik, Secrets of the Sprakkar by IWR Co-Founder Eliza Reid, and Miss Iceland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir. Anyone can sign up for the book club, whether or not you’re planning on joining us in April.Join Us on Fable
Geraldine Brooks is our featured author for 2023.
Geraldine Brooks will be our featured author to lead the 2023 IRR. Her lecture and discussion will focus on her books. She taught at the first Iceland Writers Retreat in 2014 and the virtual IWR in 2021.
Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is the author of six novels, including the latest, the New York Times bestseller, Horse. March was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006. Her other novels are bestsellers that have been translated into over 25 languages. A former war correspondent, she has also authored two works of non-fiction. She was Centennial Writer-in-Residence at the American Library in Paris and was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2021.