Bragi Ólafsson was born in Reykjavik on the 11th of August 1962.
In 1981 he received a diploma from The Commercial College of Iceland and two years later he graduated from the College of Hamrahlid, Reykjavik, where his main subjects were English, Spanish and French. 1985-86 he attended The University of Granada in Spain, studying Spanish and Spanish literature, and then finished one year of Spanish studies at The University of Iceland.
Bragi worked as a bank-clerk, postman, shop-assistant and journalist, and for six years (1987-1992) he was a member of the pop group The Sugarcubes which toured extensively throughout the world and recorded three albums. Stopped playing music in 1992. He is a co-owner of the record company Smekkleysa sm.hf (Bad Taste Ltd.), founded in 1986, which publishes popular music, jazz, modern Icelandic music and historical recordings from Iceland.
Bragi has translated poetry from Spanish, English and French (Vicente Huidobro, Jack Mapanje, Guillaume Apollinaire,Tristan Tzara, Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob and Fernando Pessoa) and a novel, City of Glass, by Paul Auster which was published in Iceland in 1993.
Wrote a radio play in 1995 which won a first prize in a competition held by the State Radio and the Writers Union of Iceland. His first stage play, Belgiska Kongo (Belgian Congo) was premiered at The Municipal Theatre in Reykjavík in May 2004 and was shown 100 times. His second play, The Chickens (Hænuungarnir) was premiered in February 2010 to great critical acclaim. For both Belgian Congo and The Chickens Bragi was nominated by the Icelandic Drama Prize, Griman (The Mask), as playwright of the year.
Bragi´s novels, Hvildardagar (Days Off) and Gaeludyrin (The Pets) were shortlisted for the two main literature prizes in Iceland. The novel Samkvaemisleikir (Party Games) received the DV prize for literature in March 2005 and was chosen the best novel in 2004 by the staff of Icelandic bookstores. The novel Sendiherrann (The Ambassador) also got the booksellers award for the best novel in 2006, was shortlisted for the Icelandic Literature Prize and nominated for the Nordic Literature Prize.
Gaeludyrin (The Pets) has been published by Lindhardt & Ringhof in Denmark, DTV (Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag) in Germany, by Open Letter in the United States, and will be published by Actes Sud in France in 2010. Sendiherrann (The Ambassador) has been published by Athene in Denmark, by Fischer Verlag in Germany, and by Open Letter in the US in October 2010.
Bragi Ólafsson published a novel called The Screenplay (Handritið) in November 2010.
In November 2012 Bragi published a new novel called The Absence (Fjarveran).
In November 2015 Bragi published a new novel called Narrator (Sögumaður).