Katja Kettu, writer of strange beauties


Katja Kettu

Katja Kettu is one of the most exciting new voices in Finnish literature. Born in 1978, she is also the singer in the punk band Confusa and an animated-film director. Her film Mankeli (2011) received the Grand Prize at the animation film festival in Fredrikstad.

She is the author of three novels and a collection of short stories. Her latest novel, The Midwife (2011), was the most­ read book in Finland in the year it was published, and received many awards. It was published in French by Actes Sud, and will be published in Icelandic by Forlagið this September.

The Midwife takes the reader on an extraordinary journey into World War II and the Lapland War in the northernmost provinces of Finland, where alliances are fragile and today’s friend can easily become tomorrow’s enemy. It is here that a midwife with peculiar talents falls in love with an SS officer, and follows him to the camp of Titovka, unsuspecting of the strange mission she must fulfill in the name of the Führer…

Kettu’s writing presents a surprising juxtaposition of the beautiful and the horrible, the sublime and the sordid, the poetic and the perilous, enchanting and captivating many readers both in her home country and abroad.

Panel: The Role of the Past in Modern Writing