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Ann-Christine Snickars on Susanne Ringell; Bror Rönnholm on the poet Mårten Westö; literary prizes; the publication of Jean Sibelius's collected compositions; Bookclub 'Knowledge'; the limits of literature discussed at the Lahti International Writers' Reunion

Susanne Ringell
Cause of death
A short story from Åtta kroppar ('Eight bodies', Söderströms, 1998), translated by David McDuff
Susanne Ringell (born 1955) examines people's relationships with their own bodies - as well as with other people's souls. In this story she puts two people in a boat: a middle-aged couple who know they should throw their marriage overboard

Mårten Westö
Breathe out, breathe in
Poems from Nio dagar utan namn ('Nine days without names', Söderströms, 1998), translated by David McDuff
In his third collection, the Finland-Swedish poet Mårten Westö (born 1967) rides the buses and trams of his native Helsinki, contemplating silence, childhood and the visibility of things

Veijo Meri
Arms and the man
A short story from Leiri ('Camp') and commentary ('Afterthought', both published by Otava, 1972 and 1985), translated by Herbert Lomas
The novelist, dramatist and poet Veijo Meri (born 1928), widely translated and revered since the early days of the 1950s Finnish modernism, is also a short-story writer who likes to set traps to ensnare his readers. In an interview with Maija Alftan, he describes his passion for reading and his feelings about growing older


In 1849 a country doctor, Elias Lönnrot, published his second, enlarged collection of folk poems that subsequently became the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. In a special section, Books from Finland celebrates the 150th anniversary of this 'New' Kalevala with a selection of approaches to the epic, both visual and verbal

Recreating the Kalevala
In his illustrations for a new edition of the Kalevala, the artist Hannu Väisänen has sought links between the Kalevala and other great epics and cultures of the world

To whom does the Kalevala belong?

The folk poems of the epic were collected in Karelia, which has historically belonged partly both to Finland and to Russia. Timo Vihavainen takes a look at the history of Finnish and Russian attitudes to the 'national identity' of the Kalevala

Songlands of the Kalevala

Elias Lönnrot carried no camera on his journeys in eastern Karelia, but Into Konrad Inha did, when he travelled among its poor, remote villages in the 1890s. The artist and photographer Ismo Kajander explores Inha's classic early photographic documentary

On translating the Kalevala

The Kalevala has been translated into Swedish a couple of times, but in 1996 the poet Lars Huldén was asked to make a new version. He describes the daunting task

Kalevala rhythms
The French-Caribbean writer Patrick Chamoiseau - who won the Prix Goncourt in 1992 with his novel Texaco - travelled to Finland and encountered the rhythms of the Kalevala


Kirsi Leiman
Making waves
Books on Alvar Aalto in English, published in his centenary year 1998

Arto Mansala
Beyond Finlandisation
Finland in the New Europe by Max Jakobson

Kalevi Rikkinen
'From geology to theology'
Suomen kartasto 1999 (6. laitos, 100-vuotisjuhlakartasto) [Atlas of Finland 1999. Sixth, centenary edition], edited by John Westerholm & Pauliina Raento

New translations

Select bibliography

Lars Sund
Letter from Uppsala

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