Guðbergur qualified as a teacher from the Iceland University of Education in 1955, went to Spain for further studies and graduated in Spanish, Literature and Art History from the University of Barcelona in 1958. Since then he has spent much of his time in Spain.
His first books, the novel Músin sem læðist (The Mouse That Creeps) and the poetry collection Endurtekin orð (Repeated Words), appeared in 1961. Since then he has published numerous books of various kinds: short stories, over 20 novels, children's books, autobiographical novels and more. He has also written articles about literature, art, and social issues for newspapers and magazines.
Guðbergur Bergsson is one of Iceland's most prolific translators from Spanish and has thus played an important part in introducing Spanish and Latin-American authors in Iceland. His own books have been translated into several languages and the novel Svanurinn (The Swan) has received critical acclaim in many countries. Guðbergur received the Nordic Prize from the Swedish Academy in 2004.