New from the archives

29 January 2015 | This 'n' that

Ulla-Lena Lundberg

Ulla-Lena Lundberg

Low-lying, sea-girt pieces of rock strewn across the sea midway between Finland and Sweden, the Åland Islands – known in Finnish as Ahvenanmaa – are a world unto themselves. In mind and spirit they are separate from both Finland (to which they technically belong) and Sweden, giving their inhabitants, writers included, a fascinating outsider status.

This week’s archive find, an extract from Leo, the first volume of Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s trilogy set in 19th-century Åland, offers a compelling portrait of the potent mix of cosmopolitanism and (literal) isolation of the islands’ seafaring community, in which the men sail the seas and the women stay at home.

Born on Åland in 1947, Lundberg is a writer of novels, short stories, poems and other essays; her work, she says, derives from her habit of sitting under the table as a small child and listening to what the grown-ups said. She received the Finlandia Prize in 2012 for her novel Is [‘Ice’], and the Tollander Prize in 2011.

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The digitisation of Books from Finland continues apace, with a total of 354 articles and book extracts made available online so far. Each week, we bring a newly digitised text to your attention.