Hringaná Book Publishers.

Freshly Printed LGBT+ Stories

New to book publishing, Hringaná Book Publishers translates queer stories for an Icelandic audience.

Ari Blöndal Eggertsson.

Around two years ago Ari Blöndal Eggertsson left his long-time job as a manager of Vínbuðin, Iceland’s liquor store, and was looking for a new project. “I had enough of that, and needed something new,” says Ari. Surrounded by literature and writers at home, Ari founded Hringaná Bókaútgáfa, one of Iceland’s newest book publishing companies with his partner Ragnar H. Blöndal. Although Hringaná doesn’t exclusively publish LGBT+ works, most of their selection has books with characters who are gay and lesbian or are written by queer authors.

The idea came about when Ari’s daughter had written a novel and Ragnar had written poetry. Looking to share their stories, they became publishers out of necessity. From there Ari translated A Single Man (Maður Einn), a story by Christopher Isherwood about George, a university professor who recently lost his partner, Jim, in a car accident. The story is based on Isherwood’s imagination of what it would feel like to lose his life partner Don Bacardi.

“Someone was telling me: “Gay guys don’t read, but lesbians do.”

Ragnar has now written 3 books of poetry including Corpus delicti – Stories from the Valley of Tears, Hermdu Mér, and Tveir Dropar. Corpus is Hringaná’s most recent publication of Ragnar’s work and “deals with people’s painful experiences of other people. There are all kinds of people, both adults, and children, and occasionally the narrator himself is the tormentor.” Hermdu Mér, or Miror, mirror, on the other hand, tells stories of a child and imaginary worlds that contrast a life lived through movies and novels to one lived in reality. Tveir Dropar, in English Two Drops, is a coming of age and transformational story about a gay man born in the sixties. He grows up to finally meet his life partner, but wonders if he’s being born again into another and better world. All three of the works are available in Icelandic bookstores.

Now two years into publishing, Ari says it can be difficult to narrow down books to translate into Icelandic.  “We read a lot of books to find just one to translate. You don’t always know if there’s a market for it here in Iceland. We find books on the web or in magazines, but it’s difficult to choose which ones are good enough to share.”

A Single Man (Maður Einn).

Then there are tons of classics that Ari is surprised haven’t been translated before. “Edna O’Brien has written maybe 40-50 novels but only one was translated into Icelandic. Joyce Carol Oates! I translated one of her books last year and there was only one short story before that was available here.”

Up next Ari is working on translating two books that should be ready to print in June. The first is an Icelandic thriller that takes place in Mosfellsbær from a new writer, and the second is The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward. Previously a model, escort, and sex worker, Yrsa writes her own story into the book including all the terrible things she faced in her past. It tells tales of her childhood in the northwest of England and discovering the power and fear of sexuality. Her true story of overcoming adversity works past “pitch grey days of pills and powder: going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.” Ari is super excited for this work to be shared in Icelandic.

Some of the things Hringaná works on are hitting the Icelandic bookshelves before they’re even available in English. Working with an agent out of the UK, Ari reads and translates manuscripts into Icelandic. “The agency we work with in London sent me a short story, a novella, and it hasn’t been published yet in England, but it was published in Iceland last October.”

Another book, Names of the Women by Jeet Thayil, was published in Iceland the same day it was published in the UK. “That’s a book about the women in the new testament of the bible, the unnamed women, the nameless,” says Ari. The Guardian’s Marcel Theroux said the book told the stories of “the marginalized women in the Bible that have been misrepresented in history by systemic misogyny.”

“We are a little different from the other publishers in Iceland in that we’re translating famous books that haven’t been published in Iceland before. We have a lot of gay books. We’re not specializing in criminal novels, which sell the most in Iceland,” says Ari.

There also aren’t many other publishers in Iceland that are willing to print queer literature. Even authors Ingileif Friðriksdóttir and María Rut Kristinsdóttir found a company was uninterested in their book Vertu Þú (Be Yourself) because “there was no need for a book like it on the market.” As they understood it, they heard “there’s already one Icelandic book that mentions a queer family, so that’s enough. We’re not interested.”

At the end of the day, Hringaná aims to change that. Ari admits, however, that gay men aren’t known for being avid book worms. “Someone was telling me: “Gay guys don’t read, but lesbians do,” he says and laughs.

A sample of the books available from Hringaná:

I Was A Doctor in Auschwitz by Gisella Perl

Dr. Gisella Perl, a Hungarian Jew, experienced many of the worst things imaginable on this earth. Not only was she a prisoner, but she also worked as a doctor in Auschwitz, the most notorious Nazi extermination camp. She was treated under the direction of Dr. Josef Mengele but without all the necessary tools, medicines and hygiene. Her words, thoughtfulness, and kindness saved the lives of thousands of women.

I Was A Doctor in Auschwitz.

The Final Retreat by Stephen Hough
Here is the story of Joseph Flynn, a middle-aged Catholic priest who has become addicted to sex with adulterers. The adulterous boys are diverse, most of them young, even family fathers, some are addicted to drugs and are dangerous. An interesting story on the go, it’s both a reflection on religion and a gay story about a priest “struggling as a wounded healer.”

Murder is Murder is Murder.

Murder is Murder is Murder by Samuel M. Steward
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas are at their country house in the French countryside, far from the hustle and bustle of Paris. There, in the company of their dogs, Basket and Pepe, and the divinely beautiful gardener, Petit Pierre, they can enjoy the fresh air and relaxed country life at their favorite place in France. But then Petit Pierre’s father mysteriously disappears. Alice and Gertrude, along with other strange characters, are unexpectedly drawn into the case and the search for him.

Simply Emma.

Simply Emma by Unnur Lilja Aradóttir
Emma is 35 years old, single, and happy with her life. But when she falls in love with her best friend’s 19-year-old son, her life changes. At the same time, long-forgotten childhood memories begin to haunt her. Unexpected events then turn her life around even more and she has to accept that nothing will be the same as before.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Nasdaq

         

        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - a world of wonder

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        Whales of Iceland
        - larger than life

        Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

        Landsbankinn
        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        Aurora Reykjavik
        - northern lights center

          Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

          Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

          The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

          Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

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            Dohop
            - get inspired

            Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

            Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

            More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

            VSÓ Ráðgjöf

               

              VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

              Macland
              - for all your Apple needs

              From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

              Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
              For all your Apple needs. We are here.

              Ísey skyr
              - once tasted never forgotten

              Our Story
              Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

              For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

              Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
              This is our secret and you are in on it

              You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

              Núðluskálin
              - noodle bar

              Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

              All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
              We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
              Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

              Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

              Seatours
              - adventure cruise

              Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
              and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

              The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

              600x400-seatours-tasting

              This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

              600x400-seatours

              The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

              Birds, possible to spot:
              -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
              -eider ducks
              -shags
              -kittiwakes
              -fulmars
              -white-tailed eagle

              The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
              Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

              Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

              Contact Us


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