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Icelandic Short Stories Adapted in TV series, produced by Robert Redford

15/11/2012 | By | Reply More

Icelandic author Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson will write the screenplay


Film director, producer and the Academy Award winner, Mr. Robert Redford

Academy Award winner Robert Redford is planning to make a television series based on the short story collection Valentines (2006; Aldingarðurinn) by Icelandic author Ólaf Jóhann Ólafsson, who will write the screenplay.

Ólafur confirmed the news, November 7. 2012, to the Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV.

The series will be aired on the Sundance television channel, which has earned a reputation for ambitious broadcasting, winning a Golden Globe for the best television film, Carlos, two years ago.

Ólafur said the short stories “will possibly be adapted to six or eight episodes”. “First, a pilot will be produced, after which a decision will be made on whether the entire series will be filmed”.

The screenplay is almost finished, Ólafur revealed. After the final touches, Redford and the series’ producer, Fred Berner, will hire the actors.

Ólafur speaks highly of Redford, describing him as one of history’s biggest film stars, boasting success both as an actor and a director.

Check out all of the new developing drama shows coming to Sundance Channel next year 2013:

The Icelandic  short story collection

The Icelandic  short story collection are based on the novel by Ólaf Jóhann Ólafsson, Valentines (2006; Aldingarðurinn), which is a white-knuckled emotional journey, capturing the most candid of moments between lovers when unspoken truths and long buried secrets surge to the surface and everything changes in an instant.

The story follows Herman Peterson – a high-powered New York attorney, and his three attractive daughters – Cathryn, Margaret, and Soley – as we delve into their upscale homes, cosmopolitan social circles, and volatile personal relationships to discover that not all is what it seems.
Writer: Olaf Olafsson (novels including The Journey Home and Absolution)  Producers: Sundance Productions (Robert Redford & Laura Michalchyshyn), Fred Berner

Mr. Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson, writer.

Biographical information of Mr. Ólafsson

Ólafur Jóhann is born in Reykjavik, Iceland on September 26, 1962. He studied physics as a Wien Scholar at Brandeis University.

He is the author of three previous novels, The Journey Home, Absolution and Walking Into the Night, and a story collection, Valentines.

His books have been published to critical acclaim in more than twenty languages. He is the recipient of the O. Henry Award and the Icelandic Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize, and has twice been nominated for the IMPAC Award.

He is the Executive Vice President of Time Warner and he lives in New York City with his wife Anna Ólafsdóttir and three children.

Before assuming his current position, Mr. Ólafsson was Vice Chairman of Time Warner Digital Media where he was responsible for developing strategic business plans for Time Warner’s digital media businesses.

Prior to joining Time Warner, Ólafsson was president of Advanta Corporation, since March 1998 and a member of its board of directors since 1997.

Previously, as founder, president and chief executive officer of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Inc., a unit of Sony Corporation established in 1991, Ólafsson built and managed its businesses in the United States and Europe.

During his six-year tenure, he directed the worldwide operations of Sony’s entertainment software and hardware divisions and was responsible for the introduction of the acclaimed PlayStation. He held several other positions at Sony, having begun his career at the company in 1985.

Presentation of Mr. Ólafsson’s Books in a chronological order

icelandicRestoration (Harper Collins: Ecco, 2012)

A sweeping story of love tested by the terrors and tragedies of war set in the gorgeous hills of Tuscany in the 1940s.

Having grown up in an exclusive circle of British ex-pats in Florence in the 1920s, Alice shocks everyone when she marries Claudio, the son of a minor landowner, and moves to San Martino, a crumbling villa in Tuscany. Settling into their new paradise, husband and wife begin to build their future, restoring San Martino and giving birth to a son.

But as time passes, Alice grows lonely, a restlessness that leads her into a heady social swirl of wartime Rome and a reckless affair that will have devastating consequences. While she spends time with her lover in Rome, Alice’s young son falls ill and dies, widening the emotional chasm between her and her husband—and leaving her vulnerable to the machinations of a nefarious art dealer who ensnares her in a dangerous and deadly scheme.

Returning to San Martino, Alice yearns for forgiveness. But before she can begin to make amends, Claudio disappears, and the encroaching fighting threatens to destroy everything they have built. Caught between loyalists and resisters, cruel German forces and desperate Allied troops, Alice valiantly struggles to survive, hoping the life and love she lost can one day be restored.


icelandicValentines (Random House, 2007) Won the 2006 Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction.

An award-winning collection of twelve stories linked by the months of the year. Each brisk story captures the most candid moments between spouses, family members, and lovers—moments when dangerous feelings surge to the surface and everything changes. A wife realizes her closest confidante is much more than that. A father tries to dress his new lover in the clothing of his late wife. A woman, watching her son and husband from afar, sees something she can never forget.

Olaf’s fans will recognize the perfect restraint and precision with which he explores these dark epiphanies. In breathtaking conclusions, Olaf suddenly lays bare the hearts of seemingly contented characters, whether they have been hiding love, betrayal, regret, or the staggering weight of grief.

icelandicWalking into the Night (Pantheon, 2003)

A novel of tremendous power and beauty about a man’s hidden past and about the immutability of love and loss.

For twenty years Christian Benediktsson has led a quiet life as the butler to William Randolph Hearst, the greatest newspaper magnate in the world. His days are filled with the rituals of Hearst’s life and the demands of running a grand household. But in his most private thoughts and memories, he relives another life: once a husband and father in Iceland, he abandoned his family for an actress in New York, where his affair ended in death and financial ruin. Retreating from his previous existence, he ended up at Hearst’s castle in California. No one else knows the secret of the man he once was—husband, father, businessman, lover—and, ultimately, even he will choose to forget that this person ever existed.


icelandicThe Journey Home (Pantheon, 2000), Palomar Pictures has considered adapting The Journey Home (Slóð fiðrildanna) for a film.

A lyrical and arresting novel about one woman’s redemptive journey home.

Disa Jonsdottir has managed an inn for years in the English countryside. Her cooking is renowned and her life picturesque, but she remains haunted by her origins. At last she departs to visit the village of her childhood in Iceland, a journey she has put off since the Second World War. On the voyage back, her old memories well up again: she recalls the abduction of her German-Jewish lover, the reasons why she stopped speaking to her mother, and the trauma she faced as a cook for a wealthy but troubled household. Skillfully weaving past and present, Olaf builds toward an emotional climax that renders The Journey Home moving, suspenseful, and unforgettable.


icelandicAbsolution (Pantheon, 1994)

A spellbinding first novel about the mind of a man haunted by the crime he planned half a century earlier.

When he died, Peter Peterson left behind the trappings of a seemingly charmed life: a vast fortune, two children, and a stately Park Avenue address. But he left something else behind: a sheaf of confessions about a dark period of his youth. In pages written weeks before his death, he reveals a crime of passion, committed in the throes of unrequited love, that has burdened him for his entire life. Yet as he finishes his story, he encounters a surprise that will shake the very foundation of his past. Spanning a boyhood in Iceland to the Nazi occupation of Denmark to a cunning business career in modern-day Manhattan, Absolution echoes Dostoevsky and Ibsen as it masterfully plumbs the darkest corners of a sinister mind and a wounded heart.


Buying his books ?

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If you want to learn more about the author, Ólaf Jóhann Ólafsson, please visit his Official Website:


Category: Iceland

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