Þórarinn Eldjárn was born in Reykjavík on August 22 1949. He studied literature and philosophy at the University of Lund in Sweden and, Icelandic at the University of Iceland, and completed a phil.cand. degree in literature at the University of Lund in 1975. Þórarinn lived in Stockholm from 1975 to 1979 and spent 1988-89 in Canterbury.
Since 1975 Þórarinn has worked as a writer and translator. He has published a number of poetry collections, short-story collections, and novels, and also translations of fiction for adults and children from English and the Scandinavian languages. Among them are novels by Göran Tunström and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. With his sister, the artist Sigrún Eldjárn, Þórarinn has published a number of poetry books for children, and many of them have received various awards. Þórarinn's fiction has been translated into other languages. His novel Brotahöfuð (The Blue Tower) has appeared in several languages including English and French and was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin award in 2001.
Þórarinn Eldjárn lives in Reykjavík.