Publicity materials for readings and events

Nancy Marie Brown in Iceland. Click on a photo to download a higher resolution copy for publicity purposes.
Photo credits: Jóhann Sigfússon/Profilm (left), Bjarney Luðvíksdóttir/Eyjafilm (center and right) .


Nancy Marie Brown is the author of nine books--eight of them about Iceland and the Viking Age. She is attracted to extremes: medieval literature and modern archaeology, myths and facts. Her work asks, What have we overlooked? What have we assumed? What have we forgotten? Whose history must not be lost?

Most of her books are nonfiction, one is a young adult novel. They have been favorably reviewed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Economist, The Times Literary Supplement, Die Welt, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and many other publications, as well as on National Public Radio. As readers have noted, they “change how you think about the so-called Dark Ages” and “charm even readers who didn’t know they were interested.”

Nancy Marie Brown has over 40 years’ experience as a writer and editor. From 1981 to 2002, she wrote about science and university research for Research/Penn State, an award-winning magazine published by the Pennsylvania State University. There, she explored topics as varied as chaos theory, glass preservation, the creation of agates, comets, caterpillars, volcanoes, fractals, Renaissance poetry, digital photography, gambling, sustainability, wild horses, and genetic engineering.

After publishing a memoir about buying horses in Iceland in 2001, she turned to writing books full time. In 2003, she moved from central Pennsylvania to a hundred-acre farm in northern Vermont. There, with her husband, the author Charles Fergus, she keeps a small herd of Icelandic horses and an Icelandic sheepdog. She traces her love of Iceland and her fascination with the Viking Age to a college class she took at Penn State in 1978 on comparative mythology. She holds a master’s degree in comparative literature from Penn State (1985), with a special interest in the Icelandic sagas (though her thesis was on the wizard Merlin in Arthurian romance).

She learned to read Old Norse in graduate school, and can read and speak some modern Icelandic as well, having visited the country more than 30 times since 1986. She is active in the international Icelandic horse community, being an editor of the U.S. breed magazine, The Icelandic Horse Quarterly, and since 2013 has offered yearly history and culture tours to West Iceland in collaboration with the company Hestaland.


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