Tutti frutti

20 November 2009 | In the news

finlandialogo_3The chair of the jury for the Finlandia Prize for Non-Fiction 2009, Professor Pekka Puska, compared choosing a winner to the dilemma of choosing between oranges and bananas. The jury found that among the entries were at least 20 or 30 books that could have gone on the final shortlist of six titles.

However, the following books, all of them on various fields of history, were chosen: Juuret Karjalassa (‘Roots in Karelia’, Facto) by Roope Hollmén; Valo merellä – Ljuset till havs. Suomen majakat 1753–1906. Finlands fyrar (‘Light on the sea: Finnish lighthouses 1753–1906’, John Nurminen Foundation), Editor-in-chief Seppo Laurell; Kirves (‘The axe’, Maahenki) by Juha Maasola; Metsävaltio. Metsähallitus ja Suomi 1859-2009 (‘A forest state. Metsähallitus [a government body administering state-owned land and water areas] and Finland 1859–2009’, Edita) by Antti Parpola and Veijo Åberg; Borgå 1809. Ceremoni och fest (‘Borgå [Porvoo] 1809. Ceremony and feast’, SLS) by Henrika Tandefelt, and Unileipää, kuolonvettä, spiidiä. Huumeet Suomessa 1800–1950 (‘Dreambread, deathwater, speed. Drugs in Finland 1800–1950’, Atena) by Mikko Ylikangas.

The prize will be awarded, by Chairman of the Board of the Sampo insurance group, Björn Wahlroos, on 26 November.

finlandialogo_1The jury choosing the six contestants for the 26th Finlandia Prize for Fiction 2009 read 130 novels. Their chair, Liisa Steinby, Professor of Literature at Turku University, pointed out that among them crime and violence ruled, and death in its various forms was prominent. One of the six finalists (Kadotetut, ‘The lost ones’, by Marko Kilpi) is a thriller, which, as the Steinby put it, nevertheless de-trivialises the genre of crime fiction by throwing light on the psychological and societal factors that instigate the violence.

The six finalists are Salo (Gummerus), the first novel by Turkka Hautala; Ihmisen osa (‘Human condition’, WSOY) by Kari Hotakainen; Uuni (‘The oven’, Otava) by Antti Hyry; Kadotetut (‘The lost ones’, Gummerus) by Marko Kilpi; Ingen saknad, ingen sorg (‘No yearning, no sorrow’, Söderströms/Atlantis) by Merete Mazzarella, and Ranskalainen ystävä (‘The French friend’, WSOY) by Tommi Melender.

The winner will be announced on 2 December, chosen by Tuula Arkio, former director of the Finnish National Gallery.

The prize juries are appointed by the Finnish Book Foundation, and each prize is worth €30,000.