Archive for April, 2009

Eino Leino Prize to Hannele Huovi

17 April 2009 | In the news

Hannele Huovi. - Photo: Laura Vesa.

Hannele Huovi. - Photo: Laura Vesa

‘Methinks,/ said the sausage dog / who loved eating verse, that / poetry is tastier than bone.’ (From Karvakorvan runopurkki [Furry pooch’s jar of verse])

Hannele Huovi (born 1949) has received the 2009 Eino Leino Prize, worth € 5,200 and funded by the Finnish Book Foundation, for her extensive work as a writer of books for children and young people, of novels, poetry and text books. More…

Keeping up with the Joneskis

17 April 2009 | Extracts, Non-fiction


Toasting the bride: cheerful wedding parties drive up to the Sparrow Hills in Moscow in summer

Moscow-based journalist Anna-Lena Laurén finds the new Russia a promised land of materialism – a place where appearances are everything, and how you pay for maintaining them is a matter of strictly secondary interest

‘I want to go to the nightclub by boat! Come on, let’s hire one,’ Ilya says, heading towards the shore where a boat for at least twenty people is moored. There are six of us.

After two minutes of negotiation, he takes up his position alongside the gangway. He welcomes us onboard with a chivalrous gesture. We step onto the boat and are gently taken off down the Moyka canal in the white night of St Petersburg in June. The sky is pale pink and dark blue-lilac, the air damp and cold, but the captain hands out rugs to keep us warm. The ornamented bridges and pastel-coloured façades of St Petersburg glide past in a faint glow, it’s just light enough to make out the colours, powdery pink, vanilla yellow, pale blue. More…

All in good time

17 April 2009 | Letter from the Editors

pallokarttaSo here it is, Books from Finland’s new website. From the decision to abandon print and go online it’s been a long and sometimes circuitous journey to get here – a journey that has been far longer in the imagining than in the making. More…

Laulujoutsenen perintö [The whooper swan’s inheritance]

9 April 2009 | Mini reviews

laulujoutsenLaulujoutsenen perintö: ympäristöliikkeen taival
[The whooper swan’s inheritance: the journey of the environmental movement]
Editor-in-chief: Helena Telkänranta
Helsinki: Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and WSOY, 2008. 304 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-32428-8
€ 42, hardback

The book presents the history of Finnish nature conservancy and the movement to promote it from the 18th century to the present day in essays by 43 authors. Although a number of prominent figures in Finnish society played an important role in the movement’s development, most of the actual work was done by dedicated nature-lovers. The conservationists of the early days hailed from the world of science, but since the 1970s the most active members of the movement have been environmental activists and government officials. The book discusses the different biotypes – forests, water habitat, swamps, Lapland habitat – and explores the country’s cultural landscapes and the relation of environmental protection to society. Many areas which are now considered important were rescued at the last moment. The book won Finland’s Nature Book of the Year Award for 2008.

Funny stuff

1 April 2009 | In the news

The hedgehog that swears by Milla Paloniemi.

Milla Paloniemi's swearing hedgehog

For the first time, comic books rule the latest bestsellers list of Finnish fiction.

A cartoon series called Fingerpori by Pertti Jarla evidently tickles the Finnish funny bone, as three of his collections occupy the second, sixth and eighth places on the February top ten list, compiled by the Booksellers’ Association of Finland. More…

Self-made man

1 April 2009 | Extracts, Non-fiction

On camelback: in the exotic part of Veijo Rönkkönen’s concrete cosmos there are animals and palm trees, side by side with the living plants of the northerly latitudes. - Photo, left: Veijo Rönkkönen; photo, right: Veli Granö.

On camelback: in the exotic part of Veijo Rönkkönen’s concrete cosmos there are animals and palm trees, side by side with the living plants of the northerly latitudes. - Photo, left: Veijo Rönkkönen; right: Veli Granö.

Extracts and photographs from Veijo Rönkkösen todellinen elämä / The real life of Veijo Rönkkönen (Maahenki, 2007. Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox)

Veijo Rönkkönen (born 1944) has lived all his life on an isolated, small farm in eastern Finland, Parikkala, less than a kilometre from the Russian border, where he has quietly built a garden inhabited by nearly five hundred human figures made of concrete. Entrance is free.