Finnland. Leena Lander.

Leena Lander (b. 1955 in Turku) has gained a reputation both in her native Finland and abroad for her portrayals of Finnish history (such as the 1918 Finnish civil war) in her fictional works. Her novels are gripping and highly dramatic, blurring the boundaries of the psychological thriller genre. Many of her settings are also appealing, such as the archipelago off the coast of Turku in the unfathomable Baltic Sea.

Leena Lander’s books have been translated into more than 20 languages. She has received numerous awards and honours for her literary oeuvre, including the Pro Finlandia medal. Her most widely translated titles are the novel Tummien perhosten koti (‘Home of the Black Butterflies’), about the dark secrets at a children’s home in the 1950s, and Käsky (‘The Command’), the story of a ménage-à-trois during the Finnish civil war: Minna, a Red prisoner of war, seduces not only her guard, but also the judge. Both of these novels have been made into successful film adaptations. Her most recent novel, available now in German translation, Liekin lapset (‘Children of the Flame’) deals with the trauma of the Finnish civil war.

Leena Lander studied literature and cultural history at the University of Turku. Prior to her career as a writer, she worked at various jobs including as a building caretaker and a substitute teacher. In addition to her twelve novels she has written plays for radio and the theatre. Leena Lander is married to the writer Hannu Raittila, and they live near Turku.

German translations:

Das Sonntagsmädchen, btb 2014 (Taschenbuchauflage des Romans Eine eigene Frau erscheint unter diesem Titel am 8.9.2014), Übersetzung: Stefan Moster
Eine eigene Frau, btb 2012, Übersetzung: Stefan Moster
Die Unbeugsame, Goldmann 2006, Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Das Gut in den Wäldern, Goldmann 2001, Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Im Sommerhaus, Goldmann 1999, Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Der Schatten des Richters, Goldmann 1998, Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Mag der Sturm kommen, Goldmann 1997 (Neuauflage als Taschenbuch erscheint am 8.9.2014), Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Die Insel der schwarzen Schmetterlinge, Schmidt 1993 (Neuauflage als Taschenbuch erscheint am 8.9.2014), Übersetzung: Angela Plöger

Photo: © Anna Huovinen