Sirpä Kähkönen. Kuva Tommi Tuomi 2014.

Sirpa Kähkönen

(b. 1964) is one of the most acclaimed writers of upmarket historical fiction in Finland. She uses language beautifully and creates precise literary depictions and strong atmospheres.

Kähkönen is above all an exceptional portrayer of women and children, their challenges and experiences. In her novels, she often observes the life of civilians in a time of crisis and how utopias and ideologies affect different individuals.

Kähkönen has published ten novels and three non-fiction titles. She has been shortlisted for Finlandia Prize four times, and her novel Granite Man was also shortlisted for Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2016.

Sirpa Kähkönen is currently the chairwoman of Finnish PEN and an outspoken media personality on freedom of speech. She is also a freelance writer, playwright, journalist and translator.




  • The Moon in Your Pocket, 1991 Otava
  • The Locked Spring, 1994 Otava
  • Black Brides, 1998 Otava
  • The Nights of Iron, 2002 Otava
  • The Spring of Ice and Wind, 2004 Otava
  • Wings of Fabric,  2007 Otava
  • Light and Shade – 90 pictures from Finland (together with Jaana Iso-Markku), 2007 Otava
  • The Shoe of the Maiden, 2009 Otava
  • The Flames of Hatred and Love – Finland in the 1930’s, 2010 Otava
  • Under Kuopio Sky, 2011 Kuopion Isänmaallinen Seura
  • The Sand Cradle, 2012 Otava
  • Granite Man (Graniittimies), 2014 Otava
  • The Summer of The Tanks (Tankkien kesä), 2016 Otava



  • Finnish State Literature Prize 1992
  • Savonia Prize 1999
  • Kuopio Artist Society Literature Prize 2003
  • Thank you for the Book Medal 2008
  • Savon Sanoma’s Savonmuan Hilima-title 2010
  • Otava Book Foundation’s Reward 2012
  • Pro Finlandia Medal 2015


Works published in / Rights sold to:

Denmark (Gyldendal)
Estonia (Varrak)
France (Denoël)
Sweden (Lind & Co)


Published books