Jón Gnarr (b. 1967) was diagnosed as a child with severe mental retardation due to dyslexia, learning difficulties, and ADHD. He nevertheless overcame his hardships and went on to become one of Iceland’s most well-known actors and comedians, and published the first two volumes in his fictionalized autobiography in 2006, The Indian, and 2009, The Pirate (the third volume was published in Iceland in fall 2014–Deep Vellum will have published the trilogy in full in 2017). In late 2009 Gnarr formed the joke Best Party with a number of friends with no background in politics. The Best Party, which is a satirical political party that parodies Icelandic politics and aims to make the life of the citizens more fun, managed a plurality win in the 2010 municipal elections in Reykjavik, and Gnarr became Major of Reykjavik (there’s a great documentary on Gnarr’s campaign, which introduces you to Gnarr’s unique and inspiring personality, called Gnarr).
Now Available from Deep Vellum Publishing:
In The Outlaw, the third and final volume in his acclaimed trilogy, former Reykjavík mayor and comedian Jón Gnarr returns to face the dark teenage years with his signature humor and candor. Raging with music, poetry, life, loneliness, and questions of right and wrong, Jón, a fourteen-year-old punk rock misfit, is sent to boarding school in the Westfjords region of Iceland. There he decides Crass is the only worthy punk band, discovers an unrequited interest in girls, and chooses drugs and self-harm to cope with mental anguish and intense thoughts of alienation and despair. Two years later he returns to Reykjavík, no longer a naïve adolescent, and recounts the restless years spent drifting through a life of parties, drugs, and anarchy—until it all fades to black. The Outlaw is the devastating anthem to what it means to grow up, to fit in, and to stand out.
The Indian is a highly entertaining piece of bittersweet autobiographical fiction by world-famous Icelandic comedian and Mayor of Reykjavik, Jón Gnarr, who describes his riotous childhood—which wasn’t always a bed of roses. Diagnosed as “retarded” because of his severe dyslexia and ADHD, Gnarr spent several years as a child in a “home for retarded children.” He finally got out, only to find himself subject to ridicule in regular schools for being slow and red-headed. Subjected to constant bullying, young Gnarr watched Westerns always rooting for the Indians to defeat the bully cowboys.
The second book in a trilogy chronicling the troubled childhood of international sensation Jón Gnarr, The Pirate revisits his teenage years with sincere compassion and great humor: bullied relentlessly, young Jón receives rebellious inner strength through the Sex Pistols and Prince Kropotkin—punk rock and anarchy offer the promise of a better and more exciting life.