Sirpa Kähkönen (b. 1964) is one of the most acclaimed writers of upmarket historical fiction in Finland. Her beautiful use of language creates precise literary depictions and strong atmospheres. Kähkönen is above all exceptional at portraying women and children, their challenges and their experiences. In her novels, she often observes the life of civilians in times of crisis and how utopias and ideologies affect different individuals.
Kähkönen has written ten novels and three non-fiction titles. She has been nominated for the Finlandia Prize four times and for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2016. She has been awarded several prizes including the State Literary award, the Savonia literary award and the Veijo Meri award.
Currently, Kähkönen is the president of The Union of Finnish Writers. She is an outspoken media personality on freedom of speech and chaired Finnish PEN during 2014-2017. She is also a freelance writer, playwright, journalist and translator.
Photo: © Tommi Tuomi