© Otava / Katja Lösönen

Juha Itkonen

Juha Itkonen (b. 1975) is one of Finland’s most talented, best-loved writers of his generation.

Itkonen has written seven novels, rewarding readers with sensitive narration, true-to-life details, and complex, well-drawn characters that effortlessly capture the spirit of the era.

Itkonen’s stories centre on families and familial relationships, on love and lovers. With delicacy and precision, he portrays how it is the things we don’t dare say that often prove the most essential. There is a fair touch of melancholy in Itkonen’s novels, but also understanding, light and hope.

Itkonen has received the State Fiction Award and Kalevi Jäntti Prize. He has been nominated twice for the Finlandia Prize. A regular contributor to various magazines and newspapers, his works have also been dramatized for the stage.

In addition to his novels, Itkonen has written a story collection and co-authored a children’s book with his wife Maija Itkonen, a graphic designer.

Juha Itkonen’s works have been published in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway to glowing reviews.



Press quotes

A sharper portrayer of people would be hard to find. – ANNA


Juha Itkonen has a phenomenal gift for telling a story. – Keskisuomalainen


He is also an excellent narrator – he brings to mind American Jonathan Franzen, with his ability to use the energy within and between people to build an absorbing story. – Etelä-Saimaa

Even if Juha Itkonen were to write about sadness and uncertainty, to describe the impossibility of encounters and to write of longing lasting for too long, his writing always carries hope: faith in kindness and what is right in man – and in love, unquestionably in love. – Parnasso



  • Latter-Day Saints (Myöhempien aikojen pyhiä, 2003, Tammi)
  • Let The More Loving One Be Me (Anna minun rakastaa enemmän, 2005, Teos)
  • Towards, Kohti, novel, 2007 Otava
  • Topsy and Doctor Dogsson (Topsi ja tohtori Koirasson, together with Maija Itkonen, children’s book, 2007, Otava)
  • Careless Dreams (Huolimattomia unelmia, 2008, Otava)
  • Seventeen (Seitsemäntoista, 2010, Otava)
  • A Momentary Glow (Hetken hohtava valo, 2012, Otava)
  • Drive (Ajo, 2014, Otava)
  • Bring Back the Butterflies (Palatkaa perhoset, 2016, Otava)



  • Kalevi Jäntti Prize 2003
  • Finlandia Prize nomination 2003
  • Runeberg nomination 2005
  • State Prize for Literature 2006
  • Laila Hirvisaari Fund Scholarship 2006
  • Secondary school students’ Nuori Aleksis prize 2008
  • Suuri Suomalainen Kirjakerho book club and the Union of Finnish Writers recognition award 2008
  • Veijo Meri -award 2013


Works published in / Rights sold to:

Denmark (Lindhardt og Ringhof)
Germany (Droemer Knaur)
Norway (Oktober)
Sweden (Albert Bonniers Förlag)

Published books