The jury has stated about the book:
”Margarita is a literary pearl – or rather, a freshwater pearl mussel, with a surprise within. The text is an example of high quality literature in the best tradition of Finnish environmental writing, stimulating the reader’s little grey cells. At the same time, the novel is a portrayal of a new way of thinking, brought up by the era of crises.”
Margarita is a family saga of sorts and a story about the untold history of forests and people. In the 1940s and 50s forests, men and women were shouldered with well-meaning duties. However, the success stories have another side to them. Fulfilling the societal obligations turns the characters’ lives with fateful consequences.
Have a look at the wonderful video with the author presenting her book.
Finlandia Prize is the most important literary award in Finland, given annually in three categories: the best novel, the best children’s or YA book and the best nonfiction book of the year. The award sum is 30,000 euros.
Kytömäki already received one Finlandia nomination, for her debut novel Goldheart (2014), which also won the Torch-Bearer Prize and the Blogistania Prize and rose immediately to the bestseller list; its sales figures have since topped 20,000 copies. Her second novel Stone Weaver (2017) was also a bestseller #3 and a critical success.
Previously, several other HLA’s authors have received the award in the category of the best novel, including
Kari Hotakainen (The Trench Road, 2002)
Pirkko Saisio (The Red Letter of Farewell, 2003)
Mikko Rimminen (Red Nose Day, 2010)
Ulla-Lena Lundberg (Ice, 2012)
Riikka Pelo (Our Earthly Life, 2013)
Jukka Viikilä (Watercolours from a Seaside City, 2016) and
Juha Hurme (Headland, 2017).
Past nominees for the prize include
Alexandra Salmela (27, or Death makes an Artist, 2010)
Jenni Linturi (For Fatherland, 2011)
Aki Ollikainen (White Hunger, 2012)
Anni Kytömäki (Goldheart, 2014)
Selja Ahava (Things that Fall from the Sky, 2015)
Peter Sandström (Autumn Apples, 2016)
Pauliina Rauhala (Harvest, 2018) and, once more
Mikko Rimminen (If It Looks Like It, 2019).
Congratulations to the author and fingers crossed!