Anja Snellman in English

Anja Snellman (b. 1954) is one of the brightest stars in Finland’s literary firmament, whose   intensely topical novels have repeatedly risen to the focus of public attention and catalysed passionate debate.Contemporary readers identify with and adore the multi-stranded world of her novels, making her the favourite author of a large readership. A chronicler of current society and humanity, Snellman is noted for her virtuosic use of language, bold sensuality, enchantingly dark humor, a keen eye for the absurd, and a touching compassion for her characters. The personal and the universal, the fictive and the documentary intertwine in her works into skillful urban stories, uncompromising literary fiction for a broad readership.The winner of multiple literary awards, Snellman has authored over twenty novels, two collections of poems,  and two works of nonfiction.Her works have been translated into more than 20 languages. Her more than 20 published novels and books of poetry are all both best sellers and steady sellers: with more than 100,000 copies sold, her first work, Sonia O. Was Here, is the best-selling first novel and among the biggest sensations in the history of Finnish literature. This modern classic has become a book of initiation, passed on from mothers to daughters.Anja Snellman holds a MA in humanities from the University of Helsinki, having studied applied psychology, English philology and general and domestic literature.She has also studied screenwriting in Los Angeles and is a well known journalist both in newspapers and tv and has had several own talk shows in the Finnish morning tv.

Furthermore, she is a solution focused therapist and studying to be also a sexual therapist.

Snellman seeks to extend the territory of literature. This vision also guided her five-year term as head of the progam committee at the Helsinki Book Fair. As her favorite writer, Michael Ondaatje, puts it, “All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.”

  • Press quotes
  • Her mastery of language, together with the exceptional courage with which she meets her subjects head on, and the often provocative beat of her prose have earned her a permanent place among major writers in the world of Finnish contemporary literature. – World Literature Today


  • Sonia O. Was Here (Sonja O. kävi täällä, 1981 WSOY)
  • Tushka (Tushka, 1983 WSOY)
  • What About Goldmouth (Kultasuu, 1985 WSOY)
  • Where We See Darkness (Pimeää vain meidän silmillemme, 1987 WSOY)
  • Chinese Summer (Kiinalainen kesä, 1989 WSOY)
  • Children of Longing and Energy (Kaipauksen ja energian lapset, 1991 WSOY)
  • A Time for Skin (Ihon aika, 1993 WSOY)
  • Geography of Fear (Pelon maantiede, 1995 WSOY)
  • Autumn Prince (Syysprinssi, 1996 WSOY)
  • Lauri of Arabia (Arabian Lauri, 1997 WSOY)
  • Bonds and Ties (Side, 1998 WSOY)
  • The Map of Paradise (Paratiisin kartta, 1999 Otava)
  • Aura (Aura, 2000 Otava)
  • Safari Club (Safari Club, 2001 Otava)
  • Mother and Dog (Äiti ja koira, 2002 Otava)
  • Fardom (Lyhytsiipiset, 2003 Otava)
  • Saa kirjoittaa ( 2004, Otava )
  • Continents of Love (Rakkauden maanosat, 2005 Otava)
  • Pet Shop Girls (Lemmikaupan tytöt, 2007 Otava)
  • Balcony Gods (Parvekejumalat, 2010 Otava)
  • Öisin olemme samanlaisia (2011, Siltala)
  • Ivana B (Ivana B, 2012 Siltala)
  • Capital (Pääoma, 2013 Otava)
  • Runoksia (2014, WSOY)
  • Surrendering (Antautuminen, 2015 WSOY)
  • Closer (Lähestyminen, 2016 WSOY)


Balcony Gods
Pet Shop Girls
Love by Continents
Mother and Dog
Safari Club
The Map of Paradise
Lauri of Arabia
Autumn Prince
Geography of Fear
Time for Skin
Sonja O. Was Here


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