Bjarnason, Jóhann Magnús
Jóhann Magnús Bjarnason, author, poet, teacher (b at Medalnes, Nordur-Mulasysla, Iceland 24 May 1866; d at Elfros, Sask 8 Sept 1945). The greatest and most prolific of Icelandic Canadian novelists, Bjarnason immigrated to Canada in 1875. His childhood years in the Icelandic settlement of Markland, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, provided the background for his first novel, Eiríkur Hansson (1899-1903).
When the Markland settlement collapsed in 1882, Bjarnason went to Winnipeg and from there to New Iceland in 1889, where he began a teaching career. Bjarnason taught in several Icelandic communities in Manitoba and North Dakota (except for a stint in Vancouver 1912-15) until 1922, but his real claim to fame lies in his extensive writings, particularly his 3 novels, Eiríkur Hansson, Braziliufararnir (1905-08) and Í Raudàrdalnum (1914-22), and his numerous short stories.
He also wrote articles, poetry, at least 20 plays and maintained a vigorous correspondence with the leading Icelandic Canadian cultural figures of his day, such as Stephán G. STEPHANSSON. Although romantic tales of adventure were Bjarnason's forte, these usually remained firmly rooted in the Icelandic Canadian immigrant experience.