Ólafur Gunnarsson was a medical emergency driver before publishing his first novel, Milljón-prósent menn (Million-Percent Men), in 1978. He has since published novels, short stories, and children‘s books. His novel Tröllakirkja (Troll‘s Cathedral, 1996) was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Award in 1992, and the English translation was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literature Award in 1997. An adaptation for the stage premiered at the National Theatre in 1996. In 2003, he received the Icelandic Literature Prize and the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize for his novel Öxin og jörðin (The Axe and the Earth). His children‘s book Fallegi flughvalurinn (The Beautiful Flying Whale, 1999) has been published in Britain, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Faeroe Islands, and was nominated for the Nordic Children‘s Literature Award in 1990. Gunnarsson has also translated various works of fiction into Icelandic, including Jack Kerouac's On the Road and Dashiel Hammett's Maltese Falcon. He lives and works on a small farm a few miles outside Reykjavík, Iceland.