Authors: Frans Eemil Sillanpää

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Finnish novelist

Author Works

Long Fiction:

Elämä ja aurinko, 1916

Hurskas kurjuus, 1919 (Meek Heritage, 1938)

Nuorena nukkunut, 1931 (The Maid Silja, 1933; also known as Fallen Asleep While Young, 1939)

Miehen tie, 1932

Ihmiset suviyössä, 1934 (People in the Summer Night, 1966)

Elokuu, 1941

Ihmiselon ihanuus ja kurjuus, 1945

Short Fiction:

Ihmislapsia elämän saatossa, 1917

Rakas isänmaani, 1919

Enkelten suojatit, 1923

Hiltu ja Ragnar, 1923 (novelette)

Maan tasalta, 1924

Töllinmäki, 1925

Rippi, 1928

Kiitos hetkistä, Herra, 1930

Virran pohjalta, 1933

Viidestoista, 1936

Erään elämän satoa, 1948


Poika eli elämäänsä, 1953

Kerron ja kuvailen, 1955

Päivä korkeimmillaan, 1956


Frans Eemil Sillanpää (SIHL-ahn-pah), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1939, began life as a peasant’s son in the Finnish town of Hämeenkyrö, September 16, 1888. As a child he displayed a great aptitude for science; consequently he was sent to the Imperial Alexander University at Helsingfors. There he found more excitement in the company of writers, artists, and musicians (including the composer Jean Sibelius) than he did in the laboratory. As a result of this new interest, he faced a great emotional crisis. Having decided that his vocation was writing, he left the university without taking his examinations for a degree and returned home on Christmas Eve of 1913. After that time his interests followed no other course.{$I[AN]9810000054}{$I[A]Sillanpää, Frans Eemil}{$I[geo]FINLAND;Sillanpää, Frans Eemil}{$I[tim]1888;Sillanpää, Frans Eemil}

He published his first novel in 1916 and in that same year married a servant girl with whom he would have seven children. His second novel, Meek Heritage, concerned with the clash of the Reds and the Whites in the Finnish Revolution, won him fame in his country and a government pension for life. Translated into a number of languages, the novel also helped to establish his international reputation. The Maid Silja, published in 1931, was equally popular at home and abroad. In 1936 Sillanpää was made an honorary doctor of philosophy by the Finnish government. Three years later he became the first Finn to be awarded a Nobel Prize.

BibliographyAhokas, Jaakko. A History of Finnish Literature. Bloomington: Indiana University, Research Center for the Language Sciences, 1973.Crouse, Timothy. “Past Present.” The Nation, October 1, 1990.Kinneavy, Gerald. “Sillanpää.” Scandinavica: An International Journal of Scandinavian Studies 20 (November, 1981).Laitinen, Kai. “F. E. Sillanpää, Life and Sun: The Writer and His Time.” Books from Finland 22, no. 2 (1988).Paddon, Seija. “The De-Centered Subject in F. E. Sillanpää’s Short Fiction.” Scandinavica: An International Journal of Scandinavian Studies 29 (November, 1990).Stark, Tuula. “Frans Eemil Sillanpää.” In The Nobel Prize Winners: Literature, edited by Frank N. Magill. Vol. 2. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Salem Press, 1987.
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