Guðmundsdóttir, Oddný

1908 - 1985

Iceland

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Guðmundsdóttir, Oddný

Written by:  Dagný Kristjánsdóttir

Oddný Guðmundsdóttir was a farmer’s daughter from northern Iceland who after her upper secondary school leaving examination studied in Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark. She was one of the last peripatetic teachers in Iceland, worked as a translator, and wrote essays and articles on politics, literature, and language.

Her debut work was Svo skal böl bæta (N), 1943. Her novels Veltiår, 1946, and Tveir júnídagar, 1949, are characterised by existentialist thought and social commitment. Her novel Skuld, 1967, about a woman’s debasement and revenge, has a predominantly feminist perspective. Here, motifs from popular belief and elements of fantasy meet in what was a high point in her writing.

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