Sofi Oksanen (born January 7, 1977) is a Finnish contemporary writer. She's considered one of the most prominent contemporary authors of her generation as well as a global literary phenomenon. She was born in Jyväskylä. Her father is Finnish and her mother is Estonian. So far, Oksanen has published four novels, all of them international bestsellers, and two plays. She has received several international and domestic awards for her literary work. Latest was the Swedish Academys Nordic Prize for her body of work.
Sofi Oksanen was born and raised in Jyväskylä located in Central Finland. Her father is a Finnish electrician, her mother an Estonian engineer who grew up in Estonia during the Soviet period and emigrated to Finland in the 1970s. Oksanen studied literature at the University of Jyväskylä and University of Helsinki and later drama at the Finnish Theatre Academy in Helsinki. Oksanen is actively involved in public debate in Finland and comments on current issues in her columns and various talk shows. She is a self-identified bisexual and has suffered from eating disorders. In 2009 she received an award from the organizers of Helsinki Pride for her activism on behalf of LGBT people in the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Russia.
Oksanen first became well known for her novel Stalinin lehmät ("Stalin's Cows") (2003), a story about a young girl's eating disorder and the image of Estonian women who had immigrated to Finland. It was nominated for the Runeberg Prize.
Oksanen’s first original play Puhdistus ("Purge") was staged at the Finnish National Theatre in 2007. From out of the play grew Oksanen’s third literary novel Puhdistus (2008). It ranked number 1 on the bestseller list for fiction in Finland when it was published and has received numerous awards, both in Finland and abroad, and is set to become a film in 2012, to be produced by Markus Selin.
The play Purge had its American première at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, in New York City, on February 10, 2011. The text was translated by Eva Buchwald and the production directed by Zishan Ugurlu.
From October 2011, the play was independently produced in 11 countries, with productions in Oslo, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid, Stockholm, Reykjavík, Lithuania, Germany and Hungary. It premiered in London at the Arcola Theatre from 22 February - 24 March with a new production directed by Elgiva Field.
Her fourth novel Kun kyyhkyset katosivat ("When the Doves Disappeared") was published in Finland August 31, 2012.
Abroad, the novel won the French Fnac prize in 2010, selected from some 300 works published in France amid positive reviews by French critics; it was the first time the prize had been awarded to a foreigner. Purge was also the first Finnish work to win the Prix Femina Étranger award. and the first work by a female Finn to win the Nordic Council's Literature Prize.
In 2009, the largest daily Estonian newspaper Postimees named Sofi Oksanen Person of the Year; according to the editor-in-chief Merit Kopli the decision was unanimous. In 2010 the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves decorated Sofi Oksanen with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana IV Class. In November 2012 the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö decorated Sofi Oksanen with the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland (awarded to artists and writers). In 2013, she was awarded the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize, the first Finnish woman to win that prize.
- Herald Scotland
- Judith Katzir (03.05.2010). "The International Writers Festival, Jerusalem". Haaretz. Retrieved 05.09.2010.
- Helsingin Sanomat – International Edition
- City.fi – Sofi Oksanen
- Pride Around the World, San Francisco Bay Times, Rex Wockner, published: July 16, 2009, accessed Sept 6, 2010
- "Oksanen's 'Purge' Set to Become Film". ERR News. 2010-08-24. Retrieved 05.09.2010.
- Helsingin Sanomat, December 19, 2010, p. C 1: "Kvartetti Euroopan kahtiajaosta" by Jukka Petäjä. — Purge at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York
- "Sofi Oksanen's 'Purge' Wins Fnac Prize". ERR News. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 05.09.2010.
- "Prix du roman Fnac à "Purge" de la Finlandaise Sofi Oksanen". AFP. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 05.09.2010.
- "Oksanen Wins French Literary Prize". YLE Uutiset. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Helsingin Sanomat (March 3, 2010). "Sofi Oksanen Wins Nordic Council's Literature Prize". Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Toomas Hõbemägi (2009-12-18). "Postimees names Finnish writer Sofi Oksanen Person of the Year". Baltic Business News. Retrieved 07.09.2010.
- Staff writer (March 15, 2013). "Now Swedish Academy's turn to honour author Oksanen". YLE Uutiset. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sofi Oksanen.|
- Official site
- What Westerners weren't supposed to see
- 29. May 2012, Sofi Oksanen's New Book to Break Printing Record, http://news.err.ee
- 30. August 2012, Sofi Oksanen: Tiet keskitysleireille on kivetty hyvillä aikomuksilla
- 31. August 2012, Puhdistuksen ensi-ilta keräsi tähdet punaiselle matolle