Katja Kettu

Finnish writer and animator, who enchanted the world with her novel The Midwife.

Kettu studied animated film directing in Turku and Finnish literature at university in Tampere. In Helsinki she now teaches screenwriting, shoots videos and writes books. Her tales mix beauty and ugliness, the noble and the base. He books are now available in 18 languages. For her third novel The Midwife she won the most important Finnish literary award, the Runeberg Prize. The novel was a sensation around the world. In a tough and even grotesque form it speaks of one of the northern taboos: the cooperation between Finland and the Nazis in the Second World War. “The novel mixes passages of lyrical love with cruel descriptions of war’s horrors, beauty and ugliness are constantly presented alongside each other, and elements of magical realism, irony and even grotesque humour alternate with the civil notes of spies. Meanwhile the main message of the book – a belief in humanity and the preservation of dignity in all circumstances – is there between every line,” writes the translator Jitka Hanušová.