Sillanpää, Frans Eemil

Sillanpää, Frans Eemil

(fräns ā`mĭl sĭl`länpă'), 1888–1964, Finnish novelist. As a young man Sillanpää studied natural science at Helsinki and came under the influence of an artistic circle that included the composer Sibelius. He soon won acclaim with his short stories and his first novel, Life and Sun (1916). Meek Heritage (1919, tr. 1938) won him recognition as Finland's foremost writer; it described the period of the Finnish civil war of 1917 with sympathy and realism. Fallen Asleep while Young (1931; tr. The Maid Silja, 1933) treats the conflicts of the same era caused by the disintegration of older values. His People in a Summer Night (1934, tr. 1966) concerns the mysteries of nature. Sillanpää was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Sillanpää, Frans Eemil


Born Sept. 16, 1888, in Hämeenkyrö; died June 3, 1964, in Helsinki. Finnish writer.

Sillanpää studied at the University of Helsinki. His novel Meek Heritage (1919; Russian translation, 1964), which is drawn from the life of the Finnish peasantry, presents a realistic picture of the Finnish civil war of 1918. The novella Hiltu and Ragnar (1923) tells the tragic story of the daughter of the main hero of Meek Heritage. In the novel The Maid Silja (1931), Sillanpää showed how bourgeois relations penetrated the Finnish countryside and portrayed the lot of the impoverished peasants. Psychological insight is characteristic of such works as the collection of novellas Human Children in the March of Life (1917) and the novels Life and Sun (1916), A Man’s Road (1932), and People in a Summer Night (1934). The books A Young Fellow Lived His Own Life (1953) and I Tell and Depict (1954) are largely autobiographical. Sillanpää received a Nobel Prize in 1939.


Kootut teokset, vols. 1-12. Helsinki, 1932-50.


Koskimies, R. F. E. Sillanpää. Helsinki, 1948.
Laurilla, A.F.E. Sillanpää. Helsinki [1958].
Laitinen, K. Suomen kirjallisuus 1917–1967. Helsinki, 1970.