Finnland. Sofi Oksanen.

Sofi Oksanen. Photo: Toni Härkönen

Sofi Oksanen (b. 1977 in Jyväskylä) has achieved a high profile with her novels that deal with the recent history of Estonia. She also has her own publishing company, Silberfeldt, and is a frequent commentator on social and political issues.

She attracted attention and generated a great deal of vigorous debate with her very first book, Stalinin lehmät (‘Stalin’s Cows’), which addresses the issues of eating disorders and the history of Estonia during the period of Soviet occupation. She achieved a true breakthrough with her novel Puhdistus (published in English translation as Purge), which received awards in Finland as well as abroad and has been translated into many languages. That book has also been made into a film version, a stage adaptation and even an opera, which premiered in 2012. The central theme is the situation of women during and after the Second World War. Another novel, Kun kyyhkyset katosivat (‘When the Doves Disappeared’), is also about the post-war years in Estonia, presented via the predicaments of the three main characters caught between occupation, resistance and collaboration.

Sofi Oksanen was born in Jyväskylä to an Estonian mother and a Finnish father. Prior to her career as an author, she studied drama at the Theatre Academy in Helsinki. She is married and lives in Helsinki.

German translations:

Als die Tauben verschwanden, Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2014 (erscheint am 14. August 2014), Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Stalins Kühe, Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2012, Übersetzung: Angela Plöger
Fegefeuer, Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2010, Übersetzung: Angela Plöger

Photo: © Toni Härkönen