Frans Eemil Sillanpää

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Frans Eemil Sillanpää
Born (1888-09-16)16 September 1888
Hämeenkyrö, Finland
Died 3 June 1964(1964-06-03) (aged 75)
Helsinki, Finland
Occupation Writer
Nationality Finnish
Notable awards Nobel Prize

Frans Eemil Sillanpää (About this sound pronunciation ) (16 September 1888 – 3 June 1964) was one of the most famous Finnish writers and in 1939 became the first Finnish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Early life

Frans Eemil Sillanpää was born into a peasant farming family in Hämeenkyrö. Although his parents were poor, they managed to send him to school in Tampere. In 1908 he moved to Helsinki to study medicine. Here his acquaintances included the painters Eero Järnefelt and Pekka Halonen, composer Jean Sibelius and author Juhani Aho.[1]


Five years later, in 1913 Sillanpää moved from Helsinki to his old home village, married, and devoted himself to writing.[2]

In his work he portrayed rural people living united with the land.[1]

He won international fame for his novel Nuorena nukkunut (English translation published with the name The Maid Silja) in 1931.

In 1939, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his deep understanding of his country's peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature."[3]

In 1941 Sillanpää divorced his wife. His alcoholism and other ailments needed hospital treatment. In 1943 he returned to public life as a bearded old 'Grandpa Sillanpää'. His radio appearances, especially tradition of talking on Christmas-Eve from 1945 to 1963 became very popular.[4]

The asteroid 1446 Sillanpää, discovered on January 26, 1938 by the renowned Finnish astronomer and physicist Yrjö Väisälä, was named after him.


Sillanpää died on 3 June 1964 in Helsinki aged 75.


Sillanpää sitting for the sculptor Mauno Oittinen in 1931.
  • Elämä ja aurinko (1916)
  • Ihmislapsia elämän saatossa (1917)
  • Hurskas kurjuus (translated as Meek Heritage) (1919)
  • Rakas isänmaani (1919)
  • Hiltu ja Ragnar (1923)
  • Enkelten suojatit (1923)
  • Omistani ja omilleni (1924)
  • Maan tasalta (1924)
  • Töllinmäki (1925)
  • Rippi (1928)
  • Kiitos hetkistä, Herra... (1930)
  • Nuorena nukkunut (translated as The Maid Silja) (1931)
  • Miehen tie (1932)
  • Virranpohjalta (1933)
  • Ihmiset suviyössä (translated as People in the Summer Night) (1934)
  • Viidestoista (1936)
  • Elokuu (1941)
  • Ihmiselon ihanuus ja kurjuus (1945)

External links


  1. ^ a b Liukkonen, Petri (2008). "Frans Emil Sillanpää (1888-1964)". Authors Calendar. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  2. ^ Frans Eemil Sillanpää Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ "Frans Eemil Sillanpää - Biographical". Nobel Media AB. 2014. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  4. ^ "Sillanpää, Frans Emil (1888 - 1964)". The National Biography of Finland. SKS. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 

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