Sigurðardóttir, Ásta

1930 - 1971

Iceland

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Sigurðardóttir, Ásta

Written by:  Dagný Kristjánsdóttir

Ásta Sigurðardóttir lived a Bohemian life and was considered to be the biggest talent in post-war Icelandic literature. She was born and grew up on Snæfellsnes and went to Reykjavík at the age of seventeen, where she qualified as a teacher, worked as a nude model at the art academy, and was an artist and illustrator. She had five children and divorced twice.

She caused a sensation from her early short story debut in the avant-garde magazine Líf og list in 1951 with “Sunnudagskvöld til mánudagsmorguns”, a description of drunkards, the homeless, and the promiscuous on the fringes of society. The narrative is pithy and metaphorical with elements of fantasy, the language sensuous, erotic, and partly grotesque. Her short story collection Sunnudagskvöld til mánudagsmorguns was published in 1961 and was reprinted in the collection Sögur og ljód, 1985, together with a number of posthumous short stories, poems, and unpublished pictures.

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