Introducing two new highly acclaimed Fiction titles!

We are very happy to include two new literary fiction titles to our Fall 2023 Catalogue!

Firstly, we have added to our list 36 URNS: A History of Being Wrong, the latest title by award-winning author Sirpa Kähkönen! Her moving and poetic requiem to her mother was published in Finland by Siltala in August 2023.

Critics have already hailed 36 URNS as Sirpa’s best novel yet:

Sirpa Kähkönen’s previous historical novels and non-fiction works are great, personal, and attractive, but now she has done something completely new and wonderful. Kähkönen writes more maturely and boldly than ever before. [—] 36 URNS, if any at all, is a mature novel. It has a rich taste. It is like the crown on a long career as a writer. [—] 36 URNS is a literary experience. Its language rings, jingles, reports, lyricizes, sympathizes with the pain, and carries the history of a family with it.
– Outi Hytönen, Suomen Kuvalehti magazine

36 URNS has already had its first foreign deal, as Sirpa’s Estonian publisher Koolibri has acquired the Estonian rights for this title.

Sirpa Kähkönen’s masterpiece poetically brings together complex family relationships and the twists and turns of the history of Finland.
– Kadri Rahusaar, managing editor, Koolibri, Estonia

Download materials for 36 URNS here!

Secondly, we are proud to add to our list FIRSTBORN, the latest title by award-winning author Maria Peura! Her heartrending story about her firstborn son being taken into custody was published in Finland by Otava in August 2023 – and has also received excellent reviews!

Praise for FIRSTBORN:

FIRSTBORN is a heartrending and elegantly built story. It talks about a mother who has experienced belittling as a child and domestic violence and who now has to relinquish her child into child protection institution. [—] A mother’s love is the core theme of the novel. It is depicted in many forms, in different stages of life and in different directions [—]. It is a personal and intimate novel. In its subject matter, it is a profound and skillful novel. [—] Peura impressively depicts the magnitude and the personal, tearing impact of the events [described in the book].”

– Outi Hytönen, Suomen Kuvalehti magazine

Download materials for FIRSTBORN here!

36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong

Sirpa Kähkönen

A celebrated author’s masterful and poetic confession of love to her mother

Author Sirpa Kähkönen’s mother Riitta (b. 1941) died in March 2022 after a long illness. In life, she struggled to accept love. “I do not grieve your death, I grieve your life,” Sirpa Kähkönen writes, knowing fully well that her mother wouldn’t like the phrase. Her mother rejected love, despite longing for it the most. Riitta was athletic, beautiful, and gifted. A traffic accident at the age of 16 changed the course of her life for ever.

Drawing on her mother’s diaries, Kähkönen depicts the life of a 1950s girl and the dramatic change that followed the accident. The novel talks about community dance halls, a broken mind, flowing hems, a 1960s mother, anxiety, anger and hate, addiction, and moments of psychosis. It talks about how wars and other crises become corporeal, how violence is inherited, and how the culture of discouragement and submission is passed down through the generations in sayings and attitudes, with the author clearly seeing herself as part of the tradition of anger and violence.

The novel is permeated by a fiery love, as if an ancient Finnish spell that, with the power of words, is capable of bringing loved ones back from the dead.



Maria Peura

A heartrending autobiographical novel about one’s own child being placed in an institution and about feeling out of place as a child

The author starts putting together the story of her firstborn child – a child whose ill-being and problematic behavior eventually led to him being placed in a child protection institution. Only now, when everything is okay, does the author dare to put her own distress and guilt into words. “What mistakes did I make? How was I trespassed against and why has my child ended up broken because of me being broken?”

Maria Peura’s autobiographical novel is a relentlessly honest and lyrically beautiful depiction of the cycles of trauma, of the effects of violence, and the chance for light and survival.

Siltala, 2023, 267 pp.

English sample and synopsis
Finnish edition

FINLAND: Siltala (orig.)
ESTONIA: Koolibri


Otava, 2023, 320 pp.

English sample and synopsis
Finnish edition

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)

About author

Maria Peura

Maria Peura is a prize-winning author and dramaturge. She received the prestigious Young Aleksis Prize and was nominated for the Finlandia Prize for her debut novel Your Love Is Infinite (On rakkautes ääretön) in 2001. It also received the Olvi Foundation Award and the Good Deed for Children Award and was met with critical acclaim in Spain. At the Edge of Light (Valon reunalla) received stellar reviews in Finland, the Czech Republic, and in the UK, where it was published in 2007. Among Peura’s other works is a collection of poetry for children.

About author

Sirpa Kähkönen

Sirpa Kähkönen was born to a family that had been harshly treated by the history of the 1900s. World War II and the Civil War preceding it had wounded her family members and marked them with heavy silence and unspoken words.

Mapping out that silence became Sirpa’s work. The first questions that arose were related to her closest circle: what had happened to her beloved grandparents? From her personal sphere the intellectual curiosity widened to touch upon the history of Finland and then the history of Europe, and finally, researching the fate of an individual during times of crisis.

Sirpa Kähkönen lives and works in Helsinki. She constructs her works upon research, using a wide array of archives, newspaper clippings, research material, and contemporary literature. Inspired by microhistorical research tradition, Sirpa writes about how mentalities are formed, and how the immaterial inheritance runs in family lines and in societies.

Sirpa Kähkönen’s historical novel begins where source information ends. It opens the gates to experiencing the past in a sensory way; the characters live out the story as physical, sensual beings.

Sirpa Kähkönen has published thirteen novels of which one (36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong) has won and four others have been nominated for the prestigious Finlandia prize and one has been nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. She has also published three non-fiction titles, one of which was nominated for the Tieto-Finlandia prize for non-fiction literature. In 2022, Kähkönen received the Finnish Cultural Foundation's Grand Prize for significant achievements in culture.

Awards and nominations:

Kirjallisuuden valtionpalkinto 1992 - The State Literary Prize 1992

Savonia-palkinto 1999 - Savonia Prize 1999

Kuopion taiteilijaseuran kirjallisuuden tunnustuspalkinto 2003 - The Kuopio Artist Society's Literary Award 2003

Kiitos kirjasta -mitali 2008 - Thank You for the book medallion 2008

Savon Sanomien Savonmuan Hilima -titteli 2010

Otavan kirjasäätiön Veijo Meri -palkinto 2012 - Otava Literary Fund Veijo Meri Prize 2012

Pro-Finlandia -mitali 2015 - Pro Finlandia Medallion 2015

Suomi-palkinto 2016 - Suomi-Finland Prize 2016 from the Ministry of Education and Culture

Savonia-palkinto 2021 - Savonia Prize 2021

Suomen Kulttuurirahaston suurpalkinto - The Finnish Cultural Foundation's Grand Prize 2021

Finlandia-palkinto 2023 - Finlandia Prize 2023