FinLit Year 2017 – Reading List for the Anniversary of Finland

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Year 2017 is a big anniversary for Finland: the country reaches 100 years of independence. The whole year will be filled with events celebrating the anniversary. To mark this special year, I decided to dive into Finnish literature, as I normally read more international authors. I will present 100 Finnish novels in this blog during the next year.

The Finnish Flag

 

Finland 100 years

Independence day 6th December

 

The problem is which 100 books to choose? I found a list of 100 books that Finnish readers selected as THE books everybody should read. Some of these I’ve read, but many of them are new to me. This list will certainly be an inspiration in finding interesting novels.

100 Finnish novels to read:

  1. Sofi Oksanen: Puhdistus (Purge)
  2. Ulla-Leena Lundberg: Jää(Ice)
  3. Kjell Westö: Missä kuljimme kerran(Where We Once Went)
  4. Kari Hotakainen: Ihmisen osa
  5. Rosa Liksom: Hytti nro 6
  6. Kari Hotakainen: Juoksuhaudantie(Battle Trench Avenue)
  7. Johanna Sinisalo: Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi(Not Before Sundown)
  8. Katja Kettu: Kätilö(The Midwife)
  9. Antti Hyry: Uuni(The Oven)
  10. Aki Ollikainen: Nälkävuosi(White Hunger)
  11. Pirkko Saisio: Punainen erokirja
  12. Arne Nevanlinna: Marie
  13. Riikka Pulkkinen: Totta(True)
  14. Juha Itkonen: Anna minun rakastaa enemmän(Let the more loving one be me)
  15. Hannu Raittila: Canal Grande
  16. Jari Tervo: Myyrä(The Mole)
  17. Mikko Rimminen: Pussikaljaromaani(Park Life)
  18. Kristina Carlson: Herra Darwinin puutarhuri(Mr. Darwin’s Gardener)
  19. Bo Carpelan: Kesän varjot(Berg)
  20. Markus Nummi: Karkkipäivä(Candy Day)
  21. Monika Fagerholm: Amerikkalainen tyttö(The American Girl)
  22. Mikko Rimmisen: Nenäpäivä(Red Nose Day)
  23. Helena Sinervo: Runoilijan talossa(In the House of the Poet)
  24. Tuomas Kyrö: Mielensäpahoittaja(The Man Who Gets Upset About Things)
  25. Hannu Väisänen: Vanikan palat
  26. Sofi Oksanen: Kun kyyhkyset katosivat(When the Doves Disappeared: A Novel)
  27. Miika Nousiainen: Vadelmavenepakolainen
  28. Jari Tervo: Layla
  29. Olli Jalonen: Poikakirja
  30. Katri Lipson: Kosmonautti
  31. Riikka Pulkkinen: Raja
  32. Miika Nousiainen: Metsäjätti
  33. Emmi Itäranta: Teemestarin kirja(Memory of Water)
  34. Hannu Väisänen: Toiset kengät
  35. Kjell Westö: Älä käy yöhön yksin
  36. Antti Tuuri: Ikitie
  37. Markus Nummi: Kiinalainen puutarha
  38. Jaakko Yli-Juonikas: Neuromaani
  39. Elina Hirvonen: Kauimpana kuolemasta
  40. Hannu Väisänen: Taivaanvartijat
  41. Rakel Liehu: Helene
  42. Juha Itkonen: Myöhempien aikojen pyhiä
  43. Jari Tervo: Troikka
  44. Sirpa Kähkönen: Lakanasiivet
  45. Risto Isomäki: Sarasvatin hiekkaa
  46. Juha Itkonen: Kohti
  47. Kristina Carlson: William N. päiväkirja
  48. Heidi Köngäs: Dora, Dora
  49. Antti Tuuri: Kylmien kyytimies
  50. Olli Jalonen: 14 solmua Greenwichiin
  51. Miika Nousiainen: Maaninkavaara
  52. Eve Hietamies: Yösyöttö
  53. Joel Haahtela: Katoamispiste
  54. Jari Tervo: Ohrana
  55. Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen: Lumikko ja yhdeksän muuta
  56. Sofi Oksanen: Stalinin lehmät(Stalin’s Cows)
  57. Arto Salminen: Kalavale
  58. Elina Hirvonen: Että hän muistaisi saman
  59. Juha Itkonen: Hetken hohtava valo
  60. Leena Parkkinen: Sinun jälkeesi, Max
  61. Pirjo Hassinen: Mansikoita marraskuussa
  62. Sirpa Kähkönen: Hietakehto
  63. Erik Wahlström: Jumala
  64. Riikka Pulkkinen: Vieras
  65. Turkka Hautala: Salo
  66. Arto Salminen: Ei-kuori
  67. Hannu Rajaniemi: Kvanttivaras
  68. Bo Carpelan: Lehtiä syksyn arkistosta(Ur höstens arkiv)
  69. Johanna Sinisalo: Linnunaivot
  70. Joel Haahtela: Elena
  71. Riikka Ala-Harja: Maihinnousu
  72. Veikko Huovinen: Konsta Pylkkänen etsii kortteeria
  73. Miina Supinen: Liha tottelee kuria
  74. Reko Lundán: Ilman suuria suruja
  75. Laura Honkasalo: Sinun lapsesi eivät ole sinun
  76. Matti Yrjänä Joensuu: Harjunpää ja pahan pappi
  77. Petri Tamminen: Enon opetukset
  78. Anja Snellman: Parvekejumalat
  79. Juha Seppälä: Paholaisen haarukka
  80. Laura Save: Paljain jaloin
  81. Tuomas Kyrö: Mielensäpahoittaja ja ruskea kastike
  82. Jari Järvelä: Veden paino
  83. Leena Lander: Käsky
  84. Anja Snellman: Lemmikkikaupan tytöt
  85. Ranya El Ramly: Auringon asema
  86. Virpi Hämeen-Anttila: Suden vuosi
  87. Matti Yrjänä Joensuu: Harjunpää ja rautahuone
  88. Tuomas Kyrö: Kerjäläinen ja jänis
  89. Marko Kilpi: Elävien kirjoihin
  90. Arto Salminen: Paskateoria
  91. Johanna Sinisalo: Enkelten verta
  92. Laura Gustafsson: Huorasatu
  93. Riku Korhonen: Lääkäriromaani
  94. Laila Hirvisaari: Minä, Katariina
  95. Juha Seppälä: Mr. Smith
  96. Kauko Röyhkä: Miss Farkku-Suomi
  97. Satu Taskinen: Täydellinen paisti
  98. Tuomas Kyrö: Liitto
  99. Anna-Leena Härkönen: Ei kiitos
  100. Riku Korhonen: Kahden ja yhden yön tarinoita

New Releases – Of Course!

However, I’m sure I’ll be adding new releases during the year. There’s already one coming out in January I’m especially looking forward: Mikko Kamula: Ikimetsien sydänmailla.

Mikko Kamula: Ikimetsien sydänmailla

Let’s not Forget YA or MG

And there will certainly be some Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction as well. Here are a few interesting ones I gathered:

  1. Reeta Aarnio:Maan kätkemät, Veden vanki (2009), Virvatulen vartijat (2010), Tuulien taikuri (2013).
  2. Tuulia Annette Aho:Kuikansulka.
  3. Katri Alatalo:Mustien ruusujen maa trilogy: Karnin labyrintti (2012). Laulu kadonneesta saaresta (2013).
  4. Henrika Madeleine Andersson:Emma Gloria ja Kalamaran varjot (2006)
  5. Ilkka Auer: Lumen ja jään maa.
  6. Saku Heinänen:Zaida ja lumienkeli, Zaida ja elovalkeat
  7. Anna-Sofia ”Anu” Holopainen:Molemmin jaloin, Ihon alaiset
  8. Markku Karpio:Selviytymispeli
  9. Tomi Kalevi Kontio:Keväällä isä sai siivet, Austraasian viimeiset lapsetMaan veli
  10. Sanna Isto(Sanna Isto-Rodenkirchen): Maanalaiset
  11. Leena Elisabeth Krohn:Collected fiction, Tainaron: postia toisesta kaupungista, Älä lue tätä kirjaa: kertomuksia keskenkasvuisille.
  12. Lea Marjatta Kurenniemi:Anneli ja Onneli
  13. Salla Simukka: Lumikki, Sisarla: seikkailu toisessa maailmassa
  14. Mintie Das: Kuohuva maailma, Hyiset mainingit
  15. Magdalena Hai: Haiseva käsi ja muita kauheita tarinoita, Kerjäläisprinsessa (trilogy)
  16. Emmi Itäranta: Kudottujen kujien kaupunki (The Weaver)
  17. Katja Krekelä: Hurjalinna
  18. Paula Noronen: Supermarsu ja jääräpää Janne
  19. Elina Rouhiainen: Kesytön (four novels)
  20. Johanna Sinisalo: Möbiuksen maa, Sankarit (compare with J.R.R. Tolkien: Kullervon tarina)
  21. Marja Leena Tiainen: Kahden maailman tyttö
  22. Tuutikki Tolonen: Mörkövahti
  23. Maria Turtschaninoff: Marisa

So much to read, so little time!

A Happy New Year 2017 to you!

Susan

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Want to Publish Books from Finland? You’re in for a Treat!

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Finnish literature is taking a big step forward in the international publishing scene. There are several new authors, who’ve signed plenty of foreign rights deals, even movie options have been sold to Hollywood. This is quite an achievement from such a small language and such a different publishing market from many other countries.

Finnish Literature and Agents by Read, Write and Publish

FILI helps foreign publishers

Behind every successful author, there’s a determined agent and publisher. But that’s not all. Besides excellent literature, the new Finnish success has benefited from the back up of the Finnish Literature Exchange (FILI), an export organization awarding grants to more than 300 different projects every year totalling in 600 000 euros. Typically these grants go to translation and publishing costs of foreign prints of Finnish books. If you’re considering to translate and publish a Finnish book, check with FILI – they might give you a grant!

Our Dear Neighbours Again!

Despite the recent surge of Finnish literature out to the world, we’re still far behind our neighbours in the west. As the Finnish literature exports was valued to appr. 2,3 million euros in 2015, the Swedish exports were in the region of 15 million euros already in the 2010. The Swedes have been rolling on the crime wave, but the Finns have found the YA fiction boom. Such authors as Salla Simukka (Snow White Trilogy) are paving the way for a new kind of northern literature.

The authors need help in telling the world about their books. Finland has long been a lonely wolf in the world filled with literary agents – there hasn’t been any. In the domestic markets Finnish authors can still send in their unsolicited manuscripts to all publishers. Traditionally foreign rights sales have been taken care of by the publishing houses, but now there are a few independent literary agents working in the field. This market is still very small as is evident from the value of the exports.

New Agents Wanted

However, potential is there. FILI arranged yesterday a seminar to plant the seeds of a new literary agent career into the minds of interested participants. While the Swedes are talking about hundreds of titles being exported every year, the Finns still move in dozens. More agents are needed to bring the market on the level it deserves.

Besides the fiction, non-fiction could prove an interesting field in this perspective. Non-fiction books are seldom translated from Finnish into other languages (while the opposite is very common). Publishers outside Finland are happy to take in good ideas for non-fiction titles, but produce them later on by themselves. This can be prevented by offering content that cannot be reproduced by anyone other than the original author.

Susan

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When your life changes overnight

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Maanalaiset (Undergrounders)

One morning when Metuli wakes up, her whole life has turned upside down. Sanna Isto takes the reader to an adventure of her life in the intriguing sceneries and underground tunnels of the bastion of Suomenlinna.

Maanalaiset by Sanna Isto in Read, Write and Publish

Author: Sanna Isto
Illustrations: Sami Saramäki
Publisher: WSOY, Finland 2016
Category: Middle grade, magic realism/fantasy
Original language: Finnish
Rating: 4/5

Metuli is a shy and careful girl just about to enter her teen years. She has a best friend Ama, loving parents and an irritating big sister Monna. Life is peaceful on the bastion island of Suomenlinna, right in front of the capital city of Helsinki, in Finland. But Metuli’s life is turned around one night, when she has the strangest dream ever. As the morning comes, nothing is as it used to be.

Metuli finds out that she has turned into an odd creature, an armadillo of sorts. And she’s not alone, there’s a whole group of these weird human-like armadillos living underground, in the vast tunnels of Suomenlinna island. They call themselves erwins after the first human who exchanged places with an armadillo in the early 18th century, Erwin Bamberg. When the bartering with humans was about to get out of hand, erwins forbid it. Until the night when Lisko (Lizard), an infamous hooligan erwin, snapped his teeth in Metuli’s leg and they exchanged bodies.

Metuli has to face a completely different life from what she’s used to and find the courage to fight against Lisko and his accomplices in order to stop them from exchanging bodies with Metuli’s best friend Ama or her sister Monna.

Sanna Isto has written a beautiful and gripping fantasy, situated on the island of Suomenlinna – a place full of intriguing history. Some of that history is integrated in the story too. Isto’s description of Suomenlinna brings the island alive even to those who have never visited it, and to those who have, it’s a tour of familiar places.

The adventure of Metuli is a fantastical metaphor of the process of growing up – the changes that sometimes, indeed, take place overnight – in a girl’s life. The story builds up quite slow in the beginning, but as it takes speed, there’s no stopping it. After many a twist and turn, Metuli with her old friend Ama and a new friend Limppu (Loaf, an erwin) creates a plan to beat her adversary, Lisko. But the decisive steps depend on Metuli alone – she has to muster her courage and decide what kind of life she really wants.

At the moment this book is only available in Finnish. It would be really nice to see it translated into English!

Susan

 

“Amazing adventure in the underground world of secrets

Can a nightmare turn into reality? Metuli, a girl living in Suomenlinna, wakes up one morning as an odd creature and even her own family doesn’t recognize her anymore. Gradually Metuli finds out what kind of barter has been made with her and who are the creatures living in the underground tunnels of the island. But doesn’t even her best friend recognize her under the strange skin she’s now wearing?

In this touching adventure Metuli has to face the intriguing past of the bastion island and herself. Maanalaiset/Undergrounders poses the challenging question of who we really are deep down.”

 

 

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