The Ladies of Seven Brothers

Original title: Wenla Männistö

Published: 2014

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 268

Seven Brothers, authored by Finland’s national author Aleksis Kivi in 1870, is widely considered to be the most important novel in Finnish history. In this critically lauded work, Riina Katajavuori gives the story a modern – and distinctively feminine – spin that, in spite of its clever allusions, doesn’t require knowledge of Kivi’s original work. She throws a classic into a blender.

All the guys are crazy about 17-year-old Wenla Männistö, who is whole-heartedly enjoying her youth. Her mother is the practical but enigmatic midwife Marja Männistö. Alli Jukola, the mother of seven, contemplates the past while lounging on the edge of a cloud. We also hear from straight-talking washer Kajsa Rajamäki and Ansku Seunala, who believes in angels. All the while, the slacker brothers of Jukola trade bad jokes in front of the TV.

“Katajavuori’s dialogue-driven novel is a simultaneously wild and wise version of Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers.”
– Ilkka newspaper, Finland (on The Ladies of Seven Brothers)

“[The Ladies of Seven Brothers] is a delicious update on a classic and a delightful vision of our time…This is a landmark event in Katajavuori’s career, and a major breakthrough; she can now be counted among our nation’s great authors.”
– Helsingin sanomat newspaper, Finland

Riina Katajavuori

Riina Katajavuori  is known for both her poetry and her prose, which includes works for both adults and children; her poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages. She is also a frequent columnist for several Finnish magazines. Among her best-known projects is the Pentti picture book series created in collaboration with illustrator Salla Savolainen. Katajavuori’s novel Gifts (Tammi 2004) was nominated for the prestigious Runeberg prize. The Ladies of Seven Brothers (Tammi 2014) became an instant classic upon its fall 2014 publication.




Riina Katajavuori


2004, Literary

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