Who is Seven Responses?
Guðrún Eva Minervudóttir, writer/novelist
librettist for Anna Thorvaldsdottir's response, Ad Genua
Anna speaks with such joy about her collaboration with Guðrún, how they contemplated the knees together, the humble character of them, what they say. And from that emerged such a gentle poem - a product of two of Iceland's prominent artists.
Born in Iceland in 1976, Guðrún has been writing professionally for nearly twenty years as an author, translator, journalist, and poet. Her works have been published in Iceland, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and Finland.
Much of Guðrún's writing deals with the growing divide between modern Icelandic life and the natural world. She spoke eloquently on this topic in an address to mark the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011:
''We have a twofold reputation: On one hand, as a country of literature and culture. On the other, as a primitive society populated by farmers and hunters, who have no understanding of economics and believe banks to be magical factories that make money out of thin air. The term ''noble savage'' springs to mind, and I don’t think it will offend anyone, because we have always been proud of our apartness and played along with the image rather than the opposite.
According to stereotype, Icelanders are children of nature who believe in elves and ghosts, but the fact is that our pact with nature is not always taken seriously. Only now is there a growing realization that nature is not an enemy to be constantly harried, but rather that it is our responsibility to cherish our land and protect it.
We possess, and make use of, the luxury of being able to get out into nature with little effort. This makes up for many of the disadvantages of life in a small country: the homogeneity, the minority complex, and the provincialism that complicates our relationships with one another and the rest of the world.''
Read Guðrún's entire address here: http://minervudottir.com/site/first-time-ever-a-pregnant-woman-gives-the-opening-speech-at-the-frankfurt-book-fair/
Guðrún has published two collections of short stories and prose poetry: Á meðan hann horfir á þig ertu María mey (While He Looks at You, You Are the Virgin Mary) (1998) and Albúm (Album) (2002) as well as six novels. Her novel, Allt með kossi vekur (All Is Awakened With a Kiss) (2011), was awarded the 2012 Icelandic Prize for Literature, the highest honor for writing in Iceland, and was elected Book of the Year by the Icelandic newspaper Morgunbladid. In September 2012, her first work to receive a full English translation, Skaparinn (The Creator/The Maker), was published by Portobello.
Read the first three chapters of Skaparinn, translated by Sarah Bowen, on Guðrún's website (and you will not want to stop there!): http://minervudottir.com/site/translations/
Guðrún received a degree in philosophy from The University of Iceland in 2007.