January 7, 1977
Sofi Oksanen (born January 7, 1977) is a Finnish writer and playwright. Oksanen has published five novels, of which Purge has gained the widest recognition. She has received several international and domestic awards for her literary work. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than two million copies.
She was born in Finland, to a Finnish father and Estonian mother.
Early years and education
Sofi-Elina Oksanen was born and raised in Jyväskylä 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 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 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.
Oksanen’s first play Puhdistus ("Purge") was staged at the Finnish National Theatre in 2007. From out of the play grew Oksanen’s third 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.
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 produced in 11 countries, with productions in Norway, France, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, 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.
Purge was adapted into an opera, composed by Jüri Reinvere, and it premiered at Finnish National Opera in 2012.
Her fourth novel Kun kyyhkyset katosivat ("When the Doves Disappeared") was published in Finland August 31, 2012 and it was the most sold Finnish novel of the year. The title refers to German soldiers catching and eating all the pigeons in Tallinn during the German occupation of Estonia.
Oksanen has also written numerous articles published in international newspapers. The topics often are related to freedom of speech, women's rights, Russian politics, information war, immigration and Finlandization. In 2014 Die Welt published her article about information war from the point of view of Eastern European countries.
Her novel, Norma, translated by Owen Witesman, was published by Knopf in September 2017.
- Stalin's cows (original title Stalinin lehmät, published in Finnish 2003)
- Baby Jane (original title Baby Jane, published in Finnish 2005)
- Purge (original title Puhdistus, published in Finnish 2007)
- When the Doves Disappeared (original title Kun Kyyhkyset katosivat, published in Finnish 2012)
- Norma (original title Norma, published in Finnish 2015)
- The Blue-cheeked girls (original title Siniposkiset tytöt, 2005)
- Purge (original title Puhdistus, 2007)
- When the Doves Disappeared (original title Kun kyyhkyset katosivat, 2013)
- I love you already (original title Rakastan sinua jo nyt, 2017) 
- Too short skirt - tales from the kitchen (original title Liian lyhyt hame -kertomuksia keittiöstä, 2011)
- Essays in English
- A Lion in a Cage, Eurozine, 19.5.2015 
- What's it like to write about Russia, 14.6.2016, UpNorth 
- Your silence will not protect you, 28.2.2018, UpNorth 
- My family knew all about iron curtain: it's vital to protect our right to speak out, The Guardian, 30.5.2018 
- A Soviet shadow looms over the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki, The Guardian, 11.7.2018 
- Finlandia Prize, Finland, 2008
- The Kristiina of the year, Kristiina-institute, Finland, 2008
- The Mika Waltari Award, Finland, 2008
- The Great Finnish Book Club Prize, Finland, 2008
- The SSKK Recognition Award, Finland, 2008
- The Kalevi Jäntti Award, Finland, 2008
- Runeberg PrizeFinland, 2009
- The Person of the Year, Postimees, Estonia, 2009
- The Order of The Cross Terra Mariana, Estonia, 2010
- Nordic Council Literature Prize (2010) for Puhdistus
- The Prix Femina Ètranger, France, 2010
- The Prix du Roman FNAC, France, 2010
- The European Book Prize, EU, 2010
- The French Booksellers Prize, France, 2012
- The Order of the Lion of Finland, the Pro Finlandia, Finland, 2012
- The Budapest Grand Prize, Hungary, 2013
- The Swedish Academy Nordic Prize, Sweden, 2013
- Wolmar Schildt Award, Finland, 2015
- Premio Salerno Libro d'Europa, Italy, 2015
- The Helsingin Sanomat Prize for the best debutant novel, Finland, 2003
- Runeberg Prize, Finland, 2004
- Prix Médicis, France, 2010
- The Dublin International Literary Award (IMPAC), Ireland, 2012
- The Dublin International Literary Award (IMPAC), Ireland, 2017
- The Ambassador of Finnish Culture (The Culture Gala of the Century), Finland, 2017
- The New Academy Prize in Literature, Sweden, 2018
- "Sofi Oksanen". Salomons Agency. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Katzer, Judith (2010). "Sofi Oksanen: Thin ice threatening to crack". The International Writers Festival, Jerusalem. Haaretz. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- "TeaK". Teak.fi. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- Sofi Oksanen and Luke Harding (April 18, 2015). "Sofi Oksanen: 'We know about British colonialism. Russian colonialism is not well known'" (Interview with subject). The Guardian. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
The novel’s title refers to German soldiers who snared and ate pigeons in the Estonian capital, Tallinn
- Larros, Heini (2005). "Sofi Oksanen - outo lintu". City (in Finnish). Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Pride Around the World Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine., San Francisco Bay Times, Rex Wockner, published: July 16, 2009, accessed Sept 6, 2010
- Sihvonen, Lauri. "A Body and a Blowfly". Focus on Finnish Writers. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
- "Sofi Oksanen". Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
- Helsingin Sanomat, December 19, 2010, p. C 1: "Kvartetti Euroopan kahtiajaosta" by Jukka Petäjä. — Purge at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York
- "Þjóðleikhúsið". Leikhusid.is. 2011-10-27. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- "Staatsschauspiel Hannover : Spielplan > REPERTOIRE A-Z > Fegefeuer". Staatstheater-hannover.de. 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- "Purge". Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- Holdsworth, Nick (19 September 2012). "Finland picks 'Purge' for Oscar contest". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Finnish National Opera to Bring 'Purge' to Stage". yle. 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- "GULAG - Vankileirien saaristo". Gulag.fi. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
- "Sofi Oksasen Kun kyyhkyset katosivat oli viime vuoden myydyin kirja". Like (in Finnish). 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
- "Sofi Oksanen suostui monikielisyyteen – työstää oopperatekstin Kaija Saariahon pojan kanssa". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- "Wird der Westen Osteuropa wieder verraten?". welt (in German). 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Norma by Sofi Oksanen. Knopf. 2017. ISBN 9780451493521.
- "Sofi Oksanen has won the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2010 — Nordic cooperation". Norden.org. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
|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