Katja Kettu is an acclaimed and award-winning writer with a strong, unique voice from Northern Finland. Originally from Rovaniemi, Lapland, she graduated from the Turku Academy of Arts in 2001 as an animation director and has also studied in the University of Tampere and in the National Film and Television School in the UK. She has worked as a columnist for numerous Finnish newspapers and magazines.
Her debut novel Surujenkerääjä (2005) was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and won the Tiiliskivi Prize, but her breakthrough came with The Midwife (orig. Kätilö, 2011), which won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize, the Runeberg Prize and the Thank You for the Book Medal. The rights for the novel have been sold to 19 countries, it has sold more than 160,000 copies in Finland, and in 2015 it was adapted into a film.
To date, she has published five novels, written or edited two collections of short stories, edited a fiction/non-fiction book on women’s experiences with sexual harassment and violence, and a biography of Ismo Alanko, a Finnish musician. In addition, she has collaborated with photographer Meeri Koutaniemi and documentarist Maria Seppälä on a book and a TV series about Finnish emigrants in North America and their relationships with the Ojibwe people.
Kettu’s works have been characterized as “Laplandic magical realism”. Kettu is meticulous in the research for her works and she is interested in microhistory, especially the fates of women caught up in conflicts where individuals have a limited influence on their lives.
Her novel Rose on poissa was a Finlandia Prize 2018 nominee. Kettu's works have been translated into 23 languages.
Katja Kettu's works:
Surujenkerääjä, 2005 WSOY
Hitsaaja, 2008 WSOY
Kätilö, 2011 WSOY
Piippuhylly, novelleja, 2013 WSOY
Novelli palaa! Matkanovelleja, toimittanut yhdessä Aki Salmelan kanssa, 2013 WSOY
Yöperhonen, 2015 WSOY
Rose on poissa, 2018 WSOY
Erään kissan tutkimuksia, 2023 Otava