Sally Salminen

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Sally Salminen
Born (1906-04-25)25 April 1906
Vårdö, Finland
Died 18 July 1976(1976-07-18) (aged 70)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Occupation writer
Language Swedish
Nationality Finnish
Period 1936–1974

Sally Alina Ingeborg Salminen (25 April 1906 – 18 July 1976), later Salminen-Dührkopf, was an internationally renowned author from the Åland Islands, Finland. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times.[1]


Born in Vårdö, Åland, Sally Salminen was the eighth child of twelve. Already as a child she entertained notions of becoming an author, but she considered herself to be too poor and unknowledgeable to succeed as a writer. After her confirmation, she worked in the village grocery store, until she moved to Stockholm, Sweden to work as a maid. During her tenure in Sweden she took correspondent courses and read books in her spare time.

In 1930 Sally and her sister Aili moved to New York City, United States. While in New York, she wrote during her spare time, and it was here she started writing the manuscript for her first (and most famous) novel, Katrina. Finland-Swedish publisher Holger Schildts Förlag announced in 1936 a writing contest, for which Salminen submitted her manuscript. Her submission won, and Katrina was published the same year. The novel depicts the life of an Ostrobothnian woman, Katrina, who moves to Åland following her marriage. Katrina became an international success, eventually being translated into more than twenty languages.

Sally Salminen married Danish painter Johannes Dürhkopf in 1940, and relocated to Denmark. Salminen remained a prolific writer, but she was never able to replicate the success of her debut novel, Katrina. Besides Katrina, Prins Efflam (1953) and Vid Havet (1963) are considered her most notable works.


Several of Salminen's siblings were notable authors in their own right. Her sister Aili Nordgren (née Salminen) (1908–1995) wrote several books. Her younger brother Runar Salminen (1912–1988) released several anthologies of poetry, and elder brother Uno Salminen (1905–1991) wrote a trilogy of books about the fictional character Erik Sundblom.
Additionally, Aili Nordgren's son Ralf Nordgren (1936 – ) and Uno Salminen's daughter Christina Remmer (1941– ) have authored several books. Another notable author born on Åland, Johannes Salminen, is however not related to Sally Salminen.



  • Katrina (1936)
  • Den långa våren (1939)
  • På lös sand (1941)
  • Lars Laurila (1943)
  • Nya land (1945)
  • Barndomens land (1948)
  • Små världar (1949)
  • Klyftan och stjärnan (1951)
  • Prins Efflam (1953)
  • Spår på jorden (1961)
  • Vid havet (1963)


  • Jerusalem (1970)
  • På färder i Israel (1971)


  • Upptäcktsresan (1966)
  • Min amerikanska saga (1968)
  • I Danmark (1972)
  • Världen öppnar sig (1974)


  1. ^ "Nomination Database". Retrieved 2017-04-19. 

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