Author: Markus Määttänen

Displaced persons

Issue 2/2002 | Archives online, Authors, Interviews

The novels of Asko Sahlberg (born 1964) have introduced a new kind of existential narrative cum thriller to Finnish literature. Interview (2002) by Markus Määttänen

Asko Sahlberg survived a real test of his skills as a writer in the year 2000 in the shape of his novel Eksyneet (‘The lost’). It almost killed him.

‘When I finally finished it, I went on a binge for about a month. A terrible depression, almost as if a child had died. Such a deep low that my private life, too, went to hell, and I split up with the Swedish woman I’d been living with. It was perhaps the most difficult process I’ve been through in my entire life. But it made a damn good book.’

Asko Sahlberg was the literary phenomenon of autumn 2000. A Finn who had lived the life of an outsider in Gothenburg, Sweden, for four years and had deliberately set out to be a writer gave voice to the Scandinavian darkness. More…