Anu Kaaja’s latest novel Katie-Kate (2020) has been awarded Kalevi Jäntti Prize 2020.
The jury stated:
“Anu Kaaja’s Katie-Kate confuses even the most hard-core readers. What is the meaning of this provocative porn novel? What right has the author have to rub all this vocabulary, these images and this kind of material on our faces? Why should we get interested in a collage which combines princess fairy tales, celebrity culture and internet porn?
Anu Kaaja’s disturbing novel requires concentrating and overcoming the urge to reject it, but little by little it shows its integrity. An angry, feminist analysis of class and gender arise from the obscene carnivalism. Katie-Katie is, no doubt, an intellectual manifestation against the patriarchy, but what makes it an interesting novel is the sovereign and unscrupulous way it makes different genres collide with one another. The result is a sharp mixture, in which the most important ingredient is humour, sometimes incorrect and self-conscious. Katie-Kate is an outstanding, bold and original novel.”
In Katie-Kate, the stories of Kate Middleton, Katie Price and Princess Diana intertwine with main stream porn. A sharp societal analysis reveals a world in which Disney owns nostalgy, Pornhub owns lust and independent women choose to be enslaved princesses.
Kaaja says she’s grown up in an age when the roles women play in media have changed a lot in a short time. “The strong female characters that have become visible in entertainment have not shifted the focus from the looks and appearances. In Katie-Kate I deal with learned misogyny, the work it takes to maintain good looks, ‘Disney brainwashing’ and my mixed relationship with marriage as an institution.”
Anu Kaaja (b. 1984) is an author and scriptwriter. Her debut novel Metamorphoslip (2015) was awarded with Jarkko Laine Prize and nominated for Helsingin Sanomat Literary Award. Her second novel Leda (2017) won Toisinkoinen literature prize and was nominaterd for Runeberg Award.