Are you interested in books about Finland? You’re in the right place. As well as writing books about Finland, I try to read every translated book that comes out of there. Firstly, because I’m Finnish and secondly because it’s such an interesting country, situated as it is between East and West.
Finland has been in the news a lot lately. The war in Ukraine has such frightening parallels to the history between Finland and Russia. Soviet Russia attacked Finland during WW2, but we managed to hold the invaders back, only conceding some territory to the Soviet Union. Sound familiar?
But enough about geopolitics. Let’s face it, the news at the moment is nothing but depressing and scary.
Let’s instead dive into books about Finland.
New Books About Finland
I am always disappointed and frankly amazed why so few Finnish books are translated into English. I know that The Finnish Literature Exchange (FILI) works tirelessly to educate and support translators, as well as awarding generous grants to publishers to finance translations. Sadly, the fact remains that most books written in Finnish find their way first to the other Nordic markets, then to Germany, and only after that to the English-speaking markets.
There are a few publishers that are doing a great job translating fiction from Finland into English. One of them is Orenda Books. Based in London this independent publishing company specialises in “beautiful, readable, and unforgettable” books. Not all of them are Nordic Noir, but if that is your genre, you can’t go wrong with browsing their selection.
The Moose Paradox by Antti Tuomainen
A Finnish author that Orenda Books publishes is Antti Tuomainen. I’m a huge fan of his quirky, ‘Fargoesk’ books. I’ve featured Antti on this blog several times before.
Tuomainen’s new novel, The Moose Paradox, is out on 22 October this year. Translated by David Hackston, this is another fast-moving story of insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen, his newly acquired amusement park and his complicated love affair with artist Laura. I laughed out loud when reading this novel in Finnish. Having read many of Tuomainen’s books also in English, I know the comedy will not be lost in translation.
The Moose Paradox is a sequel to his best-selling book, The Rabbit Factor, which I included in my blog last autumn. The film rights for the first book in the series have already been acquired by Amazon Studios, with an announcement that Steve Carroll will be in the lead.
Insurance mathematician Henri has his life under control, when a man from the past appears and a shady trio take over the adventure park’s equipment supply company … Things are messier than ever in the absurdly funny, heart-stoppingly tense second instalment in Antti Tuomainen’s bestselling series.
Nordic Lifestyle by Susanna Heiskanen
Another new book soon out on preorder is Nordic Lifestyle by a Finnish blogger and podcaster, Susanna Heiskanen, aka The Nordic Mum. You can sign up for her book club to find out about her journey to writing the book, get the preorder page link as soon as it’s up, and other fun information about the forthcoming title. Just tap here to find out more.
My Books About Finland
I’ve been writing books about Finland (and occasionally Sweden) for over ten years. Although I’ve lived in the UK for longer than I ever did in Finland, my country of birth still haunts me and forces me to set most of my stories there.
Even after 14 fiction titles, I cannot imagine writing about anything else but Finland!
The Red King of Helsinki
If you are interested in political intrigue in Finland, you might like to read the spy story set in Helsinki during particularly harsh winter days in February 1979. Only yesterday I had an email from a reader on my mailing list saying, “The Red King of Helsinki is one of your best books”.
The Red King of Helsinki is a Cold War story of espionage, murder, and betrayal.
He’s a rookie spy chasing a violent Russian KGB man. She’s a young student looking for a friend who has mysteriously disappeared. Can he save her?
The English Heart
Perhaps you’d like to read a “compelling” Cold War love story between a British Navy Officer and a student from Finland instead? In 1980, Kaisa and Peter meet under the sparkling lights of the British Embassy in Helsinki, but their future seems bleak when Peter’s commanding officers warn him of Cold War “honey traps”, while Kaisa is engaged to be married to a dependable, older man.
The English Heart is a novel which was inspired by my own life. Yes, reader, I married the British Navy Officer myself!
A newly qualified navy officer looking for adventure. A student with her life planned out. When they meet sparks fly, but how can they plan a future together when their countries are on the opposing sides of the Cold War?
Coffee and Vodka
Last but by now means least, I think you might enjoy Coffee and Vodka, a Nordic family drama set in Finland and Sweden. This story was the product of an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. The novel took me nearly two years to write, edit and polish. I recall very clearly when my tutor told me that at some point I am going to have to stop editing and start querying agents with the manuscript. By that stage, I’d already graduated.
“Coffee and Vodka is a rich story that stays with us….with moments of brilliance.” – Dr. Mimi Thebo, Bath Spa University.
Eeva doesn’t want to remember, but a return to Finland where she grew up forces her finally to confront her past.
Join My Readers Group
If you’ve enjoyed this post about books from Finland, why not join my Readers Group? You’ll get a weekly email about Finland, my writing life, book offers, news about forthcoming titles, freebies, bookish competitions, and much much more. I’ll never spam you and you can unsubscribe at any point.
What’s more, when you sign up for my Readers Group, you get a choice of two books. There’s either a free copy of my Nordic love story, The Day We Met …
Or, if you join here, you get a copy of the bittersweet story of young love, The Young Heart. This book is a prequel to The English Heart and tells the story of Kaisa, who at just fourteen, is seduced by the 22-year-old Matti. Dubbed “Finnish Lolita”, this is “an intimate and honest” (Pauliina Ståhlberg) look at young love.