The Dedalus Book of Finnish FantasyJohanna Sinisalo
Translated from Finnish by David Hackston. Anthology of Finnish fantasy stories. Some of the writers included are Aleksis Kivi, Mika Waltari, Tove Jansson, Pentti Holappa, Boris Hurtta, Jyrki Vainonen, Maarit Verronen ja Pasi Jääskeläinen. These stories have two common denominators: nature and war. Finland is sparsely populated, and its citizens form close ties with nature; it has also been torn between the empires of Sweden and Russia. ”Wolf Bride”, by Aino Kallas, is set in the mid-17th century. Aalo, a woodsman's wife, watches a wolf hunt. Later, she can't resist joining the wolves in the forest and becomes a werewolf. At night she runs with wolves, by day she plays the part of a devoted wife. It's an eerie tale with an unexpected ending. Tove Jansson is best known for her Moomintroll stories, but her piece is very adult. Following an unspecified disaster, a wife shops for her injured husband by climbing through shattered windows and looking for food among the wreckage. She relishes her role as breadwinner far too much! The editor's own offering, Transit, tells how a young autistic girl speaks for the first time in 14 years and persuades a drunken hellraiser to help her steal some dolphins. Contents
- Introduction by Johanna Sinisalo
- Aino Kallas: Wolf Bride (Suden morsian, 1928)
- Aleksis Kivi: The Legend of the Pale Maiden (Tarina kalveasta immestä, 1870)
- Mika Waltari: Island of the Setting Sun (Auringonlaskun saari, 1926)
- Bo Carpelan: The Great Yellow Storm (Stormen, 1979)
- Pentti Holappa: Boman (Boman, 1959)
- Tove Jansson: Shopping (Shopping, 1987)
- Erno Paasilinna: Congress (Kongressi, 1970)
- Arto Paasilinna: Good Heavens! (Herranen aika!, 1980)
- Juhani Peltonen: The Slave Breeder (Orjien kasvattaja, 1965)
- Johanna Sinisalo: Transit (Transit, 1988)
- Satu Waltari: The Monster (Hirviö, 1964)
- Boris Hurtta: A Diseased Man (Tautimies, 2001)
- Olli Jalonen: Chronicles of a State (Koon aikakirjat, 2003)
- Pasi Jääskeläinen: A Zoo from the Heavens (Taivaalta pudonnut eläintarha, 2000)
- Leena Krohn: Datura and Pereat Mundus (1998-2001)
- Markku Paasonen: Three Prose Poems (2001)
- Sari Peltoniemi: The Golden Apple (Kultainen omena, 2003)
- Jouko Sirola: Desk (Kirjoituspöytä, 2003)
- Jyrki Vainonen: Blueberries (Mustikoita, 1999); The Explorer (Tutkimusmatkailja, 2001)
- Maarit Verronen: Black Train (Musta juna, 1996); Basement, Man and Wife (Kellarimies ja vaimo, 1996)
... intriguing and eye-opening. Rooted in the myths and legends of Nordic sagas, it's very alive to the modern world, too. – Matt Warman in The Daily Telegraph
Johanna Sinisalo was born in Sodankylä, Finland, in 1958. She has studied literature and drama in the Tampere university. She has worked in the advertising and also as a writer in many Finnish tv series.
She became known in 1985, when seven of her short stories were published in genre magazines. Next year her stories were the top three in Atoroxes, a prize given to the best Finnish genre short story. She has won the prize seven times.
Her first novel was published in 2000 and it won the Finlandia prize for literature, most prestigious literary award in Finland.
Her short stories are published in The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy (Transit) and Year's Best SF (Baby Doll).
Sinisalo lives in Tampere. Her hobbies include astronomy, gastronomy, hiking, literature and graphic novels.
Picture by Joel Kujala. Creative Commons license.
An interview with Johanna Sinisalo by Seregil of Rhiminee