© Otava / Jouni Harala

Riikka Pulkkinen

Riikka Pulkkinen (b. 1980) belongs to the frontmost names among the new generation of Finnish literary fiction authors. She is also one of the best known contemporary Finnish writers internationally: her works have been translated into around twenty languages.

Pulkkinen’s novels are compelling stories told in gracefully flowing prose. The sensual elegance and poetic poignancy of her language and images turn her narration into an enchanting reading experience.

Pulkkinen excels at describing how different generations deal with the very largest questions of life: love, sex, faith, and death. Her novels are often family sagas, exploring the closely guarded secrets of the past and their impact on people. Light on the surface, deep on the inside, Pulkkinen’s prose takes the reader effortlessly towards the deepest philosophical issues.

Pulkkinen’s debut novel The Limit (Raja, 2006) was met with rave reviews and immediate sales success in Finland. Pulkkinen came to the attention of international literary circles with her second novel, True (Totta, 2010), which has charmed readers in France and Germany, to name but a few countries where the novel has been a hit. True was also shortlisted for the Finlandia Fiction Prize, the most prestigious literary award in Finland, and has been adapted for the stage.

Pulkkinen is loved both by the critics and by her avid and large readership which consists of various different age groups.


Press quotes

The emotional intelligence of the prose avoids melodrama to develop authentic poignancy. – Kirkus Reviews, USA

Rich writing, with gripping hyperrealism. – Livres Hebdo, France

Pulkkinen’s writing calls to mind the literal sense of the term belles-lettres. Cynicism, sharp edges, and excessive realism have no place in this text. – Savon Sanomat, Finland

Pulkkinen has an astounding sense of language. – Seura, Finland



  • The Limit (Raja), 2006 Gummerus
  • True (Totta), 2010 Otava
  • Book of Strangers (Vieras), 2012 Otava
  • Iiris Lempivaara’s Restless Heart (Iiris Lempivaaran levoton ja painava sydän), 2014 Otava
  • The Best of All Possible Worlds (Paras mahdollinen maailma), 2016 Otava



  • Kaarle Prize, 2007
  • Laila Hirvisaari Prize, 2007

Works published in / Rights sold to:

Czech (Motto/Albatros Media)
Denmark (Gyldendal)
The Netherlands (Arbeiderspers)
Australia (Scribe)
USA (Other Press)
Estonia (Pegasus)
France (Albin Michel)
Germany (Ullstein)
Hungary (Gondolat)
Italia (Garzanti)
Korea (Balgunsesang)
Latvia (Mansards)
Norway (Gyldendal Norsk)
Poland (Noir sur Blanc)
Spain (Salamandra)
Sweden (Norstedts)
Croatia (VBZ)
Lithuania (Gimtasis Žodis)
Armenia (Guitank)




Published books