Sofi Oksanen wins the 2008 Finlandia Prize

10 February 2009 | In the news

Photo: Toni Härkönen/WSOY.

Sofi Oksanen. - Photo: Toni Härkönen/WSOY.

The Finlandia Prize for Fiction, Finland’s most prestigious literary prize, was awarded to Sofi Oksanen’s novel Puhdistus (‘Purge’, WSOY, 2008). ‘When the concentrated focus of drama and the multidimensionality of narrative conjoin, Puhdistus is born – a muscular, harsh, and solid book’, said the writer and critic Pekka Tarkka awarding the prize on 4 December. (For a short review, see the Review section.)

The prize, worth € 30,000, was awarded for the twenty-fifth time. The final choice was made from the shortlist of six candidates; the others were 14 solmua Greenwichiin (‘14 knots to Greenwich’, Otava) by Olli Jalonen, Kosmonautti (‘The cosmonaut’, Tammi) by Katri Lipson, Marie (Otava) by Arne Nevanlinna, Kohtuuttomuus (‘Excess’, Siltala) by Pirkko Saisio and Paholaisen haarukka (‘The Devil’s fork’, WSOY) by Juha Seppälä.

Sofi Oksanen (born 1977) received several literary prizes for her novel in 2008 – and on 5 February  Puhdistus also won the Runeberg Prize.

This was the first time when a Finlandia Prize -winning book has also won the Runeberg Prize – worth € 30,000 and now awarded for the 23rd time by a jury appointed by the Uusimaa newspaper, the Finnish Writers’ Union and the Finnish Critics’ Association. The jury consisted of the literary scholar Kristina Malmio, the writer Joni Pyysalo and the editor Riitta Vaismaa.

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