A Writer’s Home: Gljúfrasteinn-Laxness Museum (Museums in Strange Places S01 E03)

In this episode, I drive thirty minutes outside of Reykjavík to visit Gljúfrasteinn, the museum–and former home–of writer and Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness. His remarkable life spanned almost the entire 20th century, from 1902 to 1998. He published his first novel at 17 and would go on to publish more than 60 books in his lifetime, mostly novels, but also volumes of poetry and short stories. The museum’s director, Guðný Dóra Gestsdóttir, gives me a tour of the home, built in the 1940’s, and talks about how they are trying to focus on stories and atmosphere above just showing objects.

Music in this episode is by the Icelandic singer Ósk. Find her music on Soundcloud.

Halldór Laxness in his study (both photos). Photo via gljufrasteinn.is

How to Listen to Museums in Strange Places

Welcome to Museums in Strange Places. I’m your host, Hannah Hethmon, and this is a podcast for people who love museums, stories, culture, and exploring the world.

This year, I’m living in Iceland, and in each episode, I visit a different Icelandic museum to discover what stories they hold and how they reflect and shape Iceland’s unique cultural identity.

The podcast is hosted by me, Hannah Hethmon, an American Fulbright Fellow living in Reykjavík. You can find and follow me on Twitter and Instagram @hannah_rfh.

The Museums in Strange Places podcast is available on your favorite podcast listening platforms (Did I miss one you like? Let me know!):

Photos of Gljúfrasteinn

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Learn More About Halldór Laxness

Read:

  • Articles about Halldór Laxness on the Gljúfrasteinn website
  • His page on the Nobel Prize website
  • This review on The Reykjavik Grapevine
  • His novels in translation (this website also has descriptions, commentary on all translations)

Watch:

  • Movies based on his novels and short stories
  • Youtube interview about Laxness and his novels
  • Footage of Laxness in his home (below)

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