Thor Vilhjálmsson was born in Edinburgh in Scotland on August 12, 1925. He completed highschool in 1944, studied at the nordic department of the University of Iceland in 1944-1946, at the University of Nottingham in 1946-1947 and at Sorbonne in Paris from 1947-1952. Thor was a librarian at the National Library of Iceland from 1953-1955 and worked for the National Theatre from 1956-1959, as well as working abroad as a guide.
Thor has served in numerous capacities for writers and artists, he was a member of the board of The Writer's Union of Iceland from 1972-1974, and the chairman of the Federation of Icelandic Artists from 1975-1981. He was on the national board of the Community of Europian Writers, in the management board for The Reykjavík Arts Festival in 1976-1980, and in the preparatory committee for the Reykjavík Film Festival in 1978 and 1980. He was a member of the board of Alliance Francaise for years. Thor is one of the founders of The Reykjavík Writer's Festival, and was a member of the board from the beginning. He was the chairman of the Reykjavík Judo-Society for some years and also the chairman of the Icelandic PEN-club.
Thor was one of the founders of the cultural magazine Birtingur in 1955, and was on the editorial board untill 1968. Thor's first work, Maðurinn er alltaf einn (Man is Always Alone), was published in 1950 and from then he wrote a number of books, fiction and non-fiction, novels, short stories, poetry, travel stories, as well as a myriad of essays and articles on culture and art. He received numerous awards for his work and his books have been translated into several languages. Thor was also a productive translator, translatings works by Umberto Eco and André Malraux among others. Apart from his writing, Thor held exhibitions of his paintings.
Thor Vilhjálmsson passed away on march 2nd 2011.
Publisher: Mál og menning.
Author photo: Jóhann Páll Valdimarsson.Back