ANJA SNELLMAN

38 years

25 novels

20 languages

Anja Snellman celebrated her 35th anniversary as an author in 2016. Throughout her career, she has sought to expand the territory of literature. She also works as a therapist and journalist and continues to write poetry.

Her first work remains the highest-selling debut novel in the history of Finnish literature. In her works, the personal and the universal, the fictive and the documentary intertwine in stories that capture the essence of our existence with fascinating accuracy.

STORYTELLER

Cover: Anna Green / Siulen Design

January 28, 2019
CONTINENTS:
A LOVE STORY

A tender, candid love story, Continents follows Oona and Alex across the map. Oona likes to think of love as a map of the world, with each stage of a relationship its own continent. Every relationship is unique, yet universal—where are you on the world map of love?

Cover: Anna Green / Siulen Design

April 2, 2019
SONIA O. WAS HERE

Anja Snellman’s first novel, Sonia O. Was Here, remains the highest-selling debut novel in the history of Finnish literature. The story of Sonia O. lives on, and new generations of readers keep discovering the book. The English edition will be published in April 2019.

Photo: Jussi Aalto / Anja Snellman

Urban Storyteller
THE STORY BEGINS

First, the phone went crazy. Then my mailbox started filling up. I cannot even imagine what my inbox would have looked like if email had existed in the fall of 1981. The book was going to come out in mid-October, but the word started going around the press weeks before.

Leafy Weather
SOME WRITERS STAY WITH YOU FOR LIFE

Even though you do not know authors personally, they may become lifelong companions, much like friends with whom you can simply catch up, even after years of being out of touch. Their stories may intertwine with your life story in surprising ways.

Courtesy of the Nordic Museum

Book Review
A CLEVER NOVEL
WITH A WARM HEART

“You root for them but also enjoy their life being exposed in this clever and highly technically competent novel with a warm heart,” writes book blogger Liz Dexter about Oona and Alex, the main characters of Continents: A Love Story, a book that “can be devoured in a couple of sittings or savored.”

Photo: Panu Pälviä / Sanoma

10 Facts of Life
WHERE I HAVE BEEN
AND WHO I AM NOW

Anja Snellman describes herself as a realist, dreamer, challenger, and creator. She sees her books as mileposts on her journey. A nomad by nature, she likes change and variety; she writes about different themes in different styles. As a reader, she loves books where you can feel the presence of the author.

Continents of Love
VISIT THE WORLD
MAP OF LOVE

In Continents, Oona loves to picture each stage of a relationship as a continent. When two people fall in love, their journey usually begins in Asia and continues in Australia, or perhaps Africa. Some may continue to America, or even begin their journey there. Some may begin in Europe and eventually  find themselves in Asia.

A Modern Classic
THE STORY OF
SONIA O. LIVES ON

In 1981, Anja Snellman wrote a book that continues to touch new generations of readers. “Nearly 40 years ago, she did what many are still afraid to do,” writes Katri, the book blogger at Little Library. “At the age of 27, Anja Snellman wrote a book that nearly four decades later makes me, at the age of 27, nod in agreement.”

Photo: Jorma Marstio / Lehtikuva

101 Finnish Classics
BOOKS THAT STOOD THE TEST OF TIME

Anja Snellman’s debut novel became a literary sensation in 1981 and is still being passed on from one generation to the next. The writer became a household name overnight, and despite some critics’ predictions, her fame was not short-lived. She has since written 24 novels and continues to love writing.

Continents Playlist
MUSIC IN YELLOW
AND OTHER COLORS

In Continents, Oona throws a Yellow Party where the guests are asked to bring food, drinks, and music—any type of music is fine as long as it’s yellow: Nino Rota, Kate Bush, Water Music, The Magic Flute, and so on. Visit the Continents website for the full list and listen to the playlist on Apple Music or Spotify.

Photo: Jenni Gästgivar / Alma Media

Love and Fury
DO YOU REMEMBER?

Based on Autumn Prince by Anja Snellman, Love and Fury portrays an intense love story that gradually turns scarily mad. Starring Lauri Tilkanen and Laura Birn, the film brings to life the early 1980s, when leftist ideals were exchanged for the passion of punk and cultural anarchism. The book is slated for publication in English in late 2020.

Journal
PALACE OF WIND

Anuji is standing behind me. I’m busy with my suitcase; a strap buckle is broken, and the name tag has fallen off. I haven’t seen my passport in ages, and the ticket for my connecting flight is nowhere to be found. “Anja, I’m leaving now.” It takes a moment until I understand, until I remember. I turn around and look at her. She is standing there, still, looking straight forward.

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