Thorarinn Leifsson

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Thórarinn Leifsson

Thorarinn Leifsson 2015-09-24 A (crop).jpg

Þórarinn Leifsson in Gothenburg, 2015.
Born (1966-07-29) 29 July 1966 (age 51)
Nationality Icelandic
Occupation Author and illustrator
Known forThe Man Who Hated Children

Thórarinn Leifsson (born 29 July 1966) is an Icelandic author and illustrator. He graduated from the Icelandic Academy of Arts in 1989. In that same period he was a street painter in western Europe.

Iceland island republic in Northern Europe

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 348,580 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate.

Thórarinn Leifsson worked as an illustrator and web designer for several years before making his literary debut with Father’s Big Secret in 2007 – a dark tale for children about a cannibal father and his complicated relationship with his children.

In 2009 Thórarinn wrote Grandmother's Library for children and young adults, a work inspired by the bank collapse and what the author felt was the empty materialism of Icelandic society in the years leading up to the crisis. The book was awarded the Reykjavik Children Books Prize in 2010 and nominated for the Nordic Children’s Book Prize in 2011 – an award given out every two years by librarians in the Nordic countries.

Bókasafn Ömmu Huldar is the third novel by the Icelandic author Þórarinn Leifsson. It won the Reykjavik Children's Book Prize in 2010 and was nominated for the Nordic Children's Book Prize in 2011 – an award given out every two years by librarians in the Nordic countries. The book was, in the assessment of Natalie M. Van Deusen, 'inspired by the recent Icelandic financial crisis'.

Nordic countries Geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic

The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway respectively, whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are often not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; other groups are indigenous minorities such as the Greenlandic Inuit and the Sami people, and recent immigrants and their descendants. The native languages Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish, Greenlandic and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, history, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark, Norway and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, and Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Especially in English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland.

In 2001 Thórarinn wrote an autobiographical novel called The Street Painter, [1] based on his experiences as a vagabond in southern Spain and Morocco in the late eighties. Although illustrated like much of Thórarinn’s other work, Street Painter targets a more mature audience.

Morocco country in North Africa

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi). Its capital is Rabat, the largest city Casablanca. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction.

The Man Who Hated Children, a novel for young adults, was published in the autumn of 2014. In the sense of style this book continues where Grandmother's Library left off. The setting is a twisted present-day Reykjavik with elements of crime fiction in the storyline. The Man Who Hated Children was nominated for The Icelandic Literary Prize, the foremost prize of the northern nation.

Thórarinn Leifsson’s first stageplay, The Foreign Kid, premiered on 16 November 2014 in Tjarnarbio in Reykjavik. The 70 minutes piece produced by independent theater company Glenna, is intended for 6 actors in 8 roles and deals with immigration and cultural nationalism in Iceland. The show received much praise and attention from the media and all 9 shows before Christmas were sold out with plans to reopen in the spring of 2015. Quite an achievement for an independent theater production in Iceland.

The rights to Thórarinn Leifsson’s books are managed by Forlagid and have so far been sold to Germany, Denmark, Norway, Faroe Islands, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Brasil, Hungary and Turkey.


Thórarinn currently lives in Berlin with his wife and colleague Auður Jónsdóttir. He has two children; Leifur Ottó born in 2011, and Salvor born in 1992.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

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  2. cf. Tine Maria Winther, 'Islænding portrætterer dansk kannibal Hvad gør man, når far æder ens kammerater? Mød islandske Thórarinn Leifsson', Politiken kultur, 12 December 2009,