I am a Finnish author, a wordsmith and a jack of all trades relating to culture. For me writing in Finnish carries a meaning far beyond it being my native tongue and hence the easiest. I strive to mitch and match, you see, and so doing create a poetic language of my own. And I do count myself a prosaist.
Please visit and like my Facebook page for more recent information, pics and anecdotes of a daunted writer. I am also on Twitter and though I mostly tweet in Finnish I could do so in English if the following demographic were to change. My author profile can be found at Otavap publishing’s web page.
Here’s the Short Story of Essi Tammimaa.
I was born in 1981 in Helsinki, in April no less, the cruelest month as they say. I went to a high school Kallion lukio for gifted youngsters and daydreamed of being an actor. All through my early years I was invested in the amateur drama scene. I even ended up writing and directing a play Aikaa 24 tuntia (24 hours to go) I deemed dogma 2000 for the small amateur run theatre Kellariteatteri in Helsinki. By that point I had realised I wanted to write, not act.
I attended a year in a small private Institute of Oriveden opisto that teaches creative writing with the collaboration of the University of Jyväskylä. After spending a year in the woods, so to speak, I studied Finnish linguistics and literature in the University of Helsinki from 2003 to 2008 . I specialized in cognitive linguistics and did my Masters Thesis on the Finnish poet Rakel Liehu’s metaphorical language and its cubistic manifestation.
All through my studies I worked as a freelance writer for the culture department they still had in the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat. I also wrote for the newspaper Länsiväylä, periodical Nuori Voima, women’s magazine Olivia and many others.
My interest in language had already manifested itself in finding my own voice and there were a few honorable mentions from poetry competitions such as the ’Young Poetry Competition’ (2005). I got published in an anthology for my poems in the Lassi Nummi Poetry Competition (2006) and for the short stories in the Martti Joenpolvi Short Story Competition by Gummerus (2006). The competitive short story was actually written on Stanton airport in London for keeping me awake 8 hours until my next flight. It was swiftly translated by David Hackston for an anthology called The New Finnish Fiction. (Scroll down if you’d like to read the short story.)
And then I finally got to write a real book, a poetic novel called Ilmestys (Gummerus 2007). Ilmestys is a book about passion for love and dance, a tale of short-lived illusions, belly dancing and prostitution and a manifest of corporeality portrayed by two young women who fall in love. (Published as Henriksson, see details below.)
My second novel Paljain käsin (Gummerus 2011) is a tale of love, betrayal and neglect through three generations of an ordinary Finnish family and through the WWII (Winter war and Continuation war in Finland) to this day. It tells the story of the women who are the heart of the family despite of the surnames they carry. Paljain käsin was nominated for the Runeberg Award in 2012.
I have worked on numerous short story anthologies and you can find my very entertaining and light short story series Kielletty ajosuunta in the women’s magazine Menaiset and their web page.
For now the only work I can offer you in English is the short story from the short story competition in 2006. She sleeps with a knife. Just click and enjoy! If you are interested in translating my work, you can contact the foreign rights department of my publisher Otava The Otava Group Agency.
Now for my upcoming fantasy trilogy I am most jazzed about. The first book Noaidin tytär (Shaman’s Daughter) is coming out in August 2013. The story is one of magic and mystery, about the unknown secret of a dark forest in Lapland, the female sami warriors who descend upon the immoral and protect the week, and of love and regret. It is also a story about a 16 year old Aura living with his father in a small village of Kellokoski familiar to the writer by way of living there between ages 7 to 16. Aura’s mother has disappeared when she was very young and Aura is left with a wild imagination and a need to write everything down. But is it all in Aura’s imagination or are the wolves really haunting her home, are sami warriors coming to get her? Find out in August!
I write for all sorts of purposes, consult, lecture and teach especially the young in my day to day life. I am currently working as a Communications Officer for The Finnish Youth Housing Association and as always – writing my next novel at the same time. I write this blog for the sheer joy of conversing on aesthetic and intellectual experiences although it has suffered from my being overbooked and trying to give my readers something more substantial to read than blogposts. My resume can be found here.
I got married in 2010 and as feminists we chose to take a different name than the one either of us had before. We translated and altered the old family name of my husband’s grandmother and so I became Tammimaa, formerly Henriksson.
And there it is. The Short Story.
Note that if you are using any of the automatic translation devices to read my pages, all of the mentioned languages will also be translated and thus the content of my studies etc. will be altered. This page is already written in English.