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Editorial: We and I

This 'n' that
Poetry prize for rock lyrics; Jukka Koskelainen on Jouni Inkala's poems; Fredrik Hertzberg on Birgitta Boucht's travel stories; Satu Koskimies on Kaarina Valoaalto's memoir of a Helsinki childhood; Lahti International Writers' Reunion; literary prizes; Pekka Lounela in memoriam

Jouni Inkala
Could you drop me a line?
Poems from Kirjoittamaton ('Unwritten', WSOY, 2002), translated by Anselm Hollo
Jouni Inkala (born 1966) encounters Anton Chekhov, Joseph Brodsky and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others, in his new collection of poetry, which approaches its semi-fictional subjects with sharp twists and sarcastic asides

Birgitta Boucht
Close encounters
Stories from Konservatorns blick ('A conservator's gaze'. Schildts, 2002), translated by Silvester Mazzarella
The teller of these travel tales likes opening the door to a new hotel room for the first time. All sorts of unexpected things happen to her, from a fist-fight with a Florentine hotel-keeper to an almost tryst with a businessman in Baghdad

Kaarina Valoaalto
Family mysteries
Extracts from Einen keittiö, Eines kök ('Eine's kitchen', Tammi, 2002), translated by Herbert Lomas
Kaarina Valoaalto (born 1948) has written a memoir of her childhood in the Töölö district of Helsinki in the form of a tragicomic prose-poem to a war-wounded family that 'rears not white doves but white lies' and specialises in epic bouts of farting

Stranger than fiction?
Three columnists take a look at what is going on in Finland today

Hannu Raittila
The daily grind
Texts from Rahat vai kolmipyörä ja muita kirjoituksia ('The money or the tricycle and other stories', WSOY, 2002), translated by Hildi Hawkins

Minna Lindgren
Moments musicaux
Texts from Pianon palkeilta orkesterin koskettimille ('From the stage of the piano to the keyboard of the orchestra', Tammi, 2002), translated by Hildi Hawkins

Tuomas Nevanlinna
Thinking and being
Texts from Surullinen tapiiri ja muita kirjotuksia ('The sad tapir and other writings', Tammi, 2002), translated by Hildi Hawkins

Anna Kortelainen
La vie bohème
The art historian Anna Kortelainen introduces Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905), who lived in Paris as a successful artist for almost 30 years. This ladies' man wrote more than 1,200 letters to his beloved mother, confessing in one of them – written under the influence of champagne – that 'women exist for man' – except his dearest mother, of course, who is 'my better self, my idol, my in all my strongest passion'

Albert Edelfelt
Dearest Mother!
Extracts from Niin kutsuttu sydämeni. Albert Edelfeltin kirjeet äidilleen 1873–1901 ('My so-called heart. Albert Edelfelt's letters to his mother 1873–1901', Otava, 2001; edited by Anna Kortelainen, letters translated [from Swedish] by Sirpa Kähkönen), translated by Herbert Lomas

Seppo Heiskanen
Canine capers
Over the past 20 years, Mauri Kunnas (born 1950) has written and illustrated more than 40 children's books, of which there are now more than 100 translations. Seitsemän koiraveljestä ('Seven dog brothers', Otava, 2002) is a pastiche of the most popular Finnish novel of all time, Aleksis Kivi's Seitsemän veljestä (Seven Brothers, 1870). Kunnas's favourite characters are dogs – he is also the author of a canine version of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala.
This is the first of a series on book illustrators that will run in this year's issues of Books from Finland

Stefan Moster
Birthday blues
Translators encounter the strangest of problems in conveying literature from one language and culture to another. The German translator Stefan Moster (born 1964) kicks off with the first of a series, in which a particular date casts an entire book in a new light


Tiina Nyrhinen
Art for everyone
ITE rajoilla. Nykykansantaiteen vuosikirja I [Self-Made Life on the edge. A yearbook of modern folk art I], toim. [edited by] Seppo Knuuttila

Pirjo Lyytikäinen
Author portrait
Hannes Sihvo: Elävä Kivi. Aleksis Kivi aikanansa [Living Kivi. Aleksis Kivi in his time]

New translations

Select bibliography

Letter from Toivakka
In 2003 four writers living outside Helsinki write to Books from Finland's office in the teeming metropolis. The poet and writer Kaarina Valoaalto lives in a little village in the middle of Finland in a house without a flushing toilet but with an interesting history; it sails through winter like a yacht, frost in its sail

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