Finland has yet again been named the world's happiest country, and perhaps it's because they are a country of passionate readers: every third Finn reads literature every month, over 70% of Finnish parents read out loud to their children, and there are 12 library loans per Finnish resident per year. Join FILI, the Finnish Literature Exchange in Helsinki, to celebrate some of Finland's best writers reading and previewing their recent work.
Finnish snacks and drinks will be on hand. This event is in English, but if you happen to speak Finnish, you'll be among friends.
Rosa Liksom was born in a village of eight houses in Lapland, Finland, where her parents were reindeer breeders and farmers. A renowned painter, cartoonist, children's writer and filmmaker, she is best known as a prize-winning writer whose books have been translated into more than 15 languages. After living in Kristiania, Copenhagen, where she wrote her first three books, as well as Norway, Iceland, Paris, Brezhnev-era Moscow and in squats and communes throughout Europe, she returned to Helsinki, Finland, in 1987. She won the 2011 Finlandia Prize for Compartment No. 6. Her new novel is The Colonel's Wife, recently published in the US by Graywolf Press.
Laura Lindstedt has been hailed as the "rock star of literature" by Finland's Aamulehti newspaper. One of the most celebrated young Finnish authors of recent years: her novels verge on the postmodern and experiment with form and language in an accessible style. Her novel, Oneiron, which won the 2015 Finlandia prize, has been sold in 14 territories, with over 50,000 copies sold in Finland. Her works have been translated in 18 languages so far. Lindstedt is currently revising her PhD on French author Nathalie Sarraute and touring the world to promote her works. Her new novel, My Friend Natalia, will be published in the US in 2021 by Liveright/WW Norton.
Pajtim Statovci was born in Kosovo in 1990 to Albanian parents, and moved with his family to Finland when he was two years old. Statovci was the winner of the 2018 Helsinki Writer of the Year, among many other international prizes, and his debut novel, My Cat Yugoslavia, was longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC award, while his second, Crossing, was a finalist for the National Book Award. His third novel, Bolla, recently won the Finlandia Prize, making Statovci the youngest winner ever of Finland's most prestigious prize. Bolla will be published by Pantheon Books in 2021.
Märta Tikkanen - A special guest, Victoria Redel, will read for Märta Tikkanen, who is a Finland-Swedish journalist, writer, and teacher. Much of her writing deals critically with gender roles and the shackles that bind women, as well as women's liberation and the desire for self-realization. She became a central figure in the Nordic women's movement with her novel Manrape (1978), which was adapted into a 1978 film directed by Jörn Donner. She is the recipient of several awards for her work, including the Nordic Women's Alternative Literature Prize, Finland's State Prize for the Dissemination of Knowledge, the Swedish De Nios Grand Prize, the Swedish Academy's Finland Prize, and Finland's State Literary Prize. Her work has been translated into over 20 languages. Her 1978 classic and international bestseller, The Love Story of the Century, will be published as a new translation in the US next month by Deep Vellum.
Victoria Redel is the critically acclaimed author of five previous works of fiction and three collections of poetry. Her debut novel, Loverboy, was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and won the Sister Mariella Gable Prize from Graywolf Press and the Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has contributed to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Elle, O, the Oprah Magazine, Granta, One Story, and the Harvard Review. She received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
Tove Jansson - Special Guest Stacey D'Erasmo will read from and discuss the work of Tove Jansson. Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was born in Helsinki, and was an illustrator and political cartoonist for the left-leaning, anti-Fascist magazine Garm. She created a long-running comic strip and a series of children's books featuring the much-loved hippopotamus-like character, Moomintroll. She is also the author of eleven novels and short-story collections for adults, including The Summer Book and The True Deceiver. In 1994, she was awarded the Prize of the Swedish Academy.