Icelandic author Hallgrímur Helgason 

discusses his novel, Woman at 1,000 Degrees  
Nordic Literary Series 
Nordic Literary Series

Icelandic author Hallgrímur Helgason 

discusses his novel, Woman at 1,000 Degrees




This event is cohosted by the Seattle Public Library. It will be held at the Library's Ballard Branch (5614 22nd Ave. NW). It is free and open to the public.

Icelandic author Hallgrímur Helgason will read from and discuss his book, Woman at 1,000 Degrees.  A historical novel published in 2011, Woman at 1, 000 Degrees is based on the real life of Brynhildur Georgía Björnsson, an Icelandic woman whom Helgason accidentally met over the telephone in 2006, when he was aiding his ex-wife during an election campaign, getting people to vote for the Social Democratic Party. The novel’s main character is Herra Björnsson. She lives alone in a garage, with her laptop and an old German hand grenade from WW2. She knows she is about to die, but tells us the story of her life—a difficult life that saw her in Denmark before the war, orphaned in Germany during WWII, fleeing to Argentina after the war, and from then on searching for happiness with many men in many countries. Herra’s fate has been compared to the fate of Iceland, which was a Danish colony for centuries, then became independent in 1944, but was protected by the Americans until 2006. Like Herra, Iceland never knows where to belong or whom to be with.

Hallgrímur Helgason is an Icelandic artist and author of nine novels. His most well known books are 101 Reykjavik, a slacker novel from the nineties, The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning, a comic crime novel, and his most recent novel, Woman at 1,000 Degrees.  He can be found online at


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