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Authors' Corner

Alfreda Duffy


Alberta, CAN

Alfreda’s ancestry is 100% Icelandic. A resident of Calgary, she has one married son and two granddaughters who also live in the area. As an amma, Alfreda says her granddaughters are her biggest incentive to write. She grew up in Lundar, an Icelandic community in the Interlake area of Manitoba. Her pioneer ancestors were drawn to the area for its free land and ample fishing opportunities.

To date, Alfreda has written two novels: Melkorka, The Thrall Princessa’s Saga, published in June 2019, and The Viking Queen’s Legacy, released in November 2020. She is currently working on a novel about Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir. The Icelandic sagas were and continue to be her inspiration for writing. Laxdæla saga is her favorite saga, as it focuses on three empowered women who lived during the 9th and 10th centuries and whose lives were honoured through the telling of their stories: Auður Ketilsdóttir, the Irish slave Melkorka, and Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir. Each woman is a different character, each story is unique, yet their stories remain as relevant today as they were 1000 years ago. Motivated to retell their stories, Alfreda began writing a fictionalized version primarily to introduce these women to her granddaughters, but also to anyone with an interest in Icelandic culture. She writes under the pseudonym Alfreða Jonsdottir.

The idea of having an Icelandic Roots writers’ club came from volunteer Natalie Guttormsson, herself a writer. Statistics claim that one in ten Icelanders will write and publish a book in their lifetime, be it poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Providing writers of Icelandic descent with a platform for brainstorming, sharing their ideas and fears as writers, and collaborating on stories is truly exciting.

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