The Young Icelander
The story of an immigrant in Nova Scotia and Manitoba
introduction by Birna Bjarnadottir
An early 20th century bestseller, now translated into English, offers rare insight into the experience of young European immigrants to Canada.
In Nova Scotia at the end of the 19th century, an Icelandic boy is stranded ashore with his grandparents on the province's Eastern Shore. This fictionalized memoir evokes the immigrant experience in the rural Maritimes, and then in the Icelandic settlements of Manitoba. Author Johann Magnus Bjarnason published this best-selling book in Icelandic, and it earned him a reputation as one of Iceland's leading writers of the early 20th century. For contemporary readers, his book provides an unusual vantage point on life in rural Nova Scotia and then in the Icelandic settlements in Manitoba more than a hundred years ago.