Anita Konkka * Literary Web Site

Anita Konkka is a Finnish novel writer. She has published since 1970 eleven novels, essays, radio-plays, and a dream-book. She is a tireless scholar of love and love relationships, problematic ones, too. However, she doesn't portray her characters as enervated by love or otherwise with furrowed brow. In these Finnish latitudes she is able to write about love and its troublesome and unhappy aspects humorously and as though smiling, not derisively or with pity but friendly and understandingly.

It has been observed from Anita Konkka's novels that dreams are important for her. Dreams appeared already in her debut work Irti (Break Free). Life's roughness, but at same time its diversity, a young woman's struggle for independence, a powerful father figure, unsuccessful love relationships and a lack of confidence with regard to work live their own lives in Konkka's dreams.

 Anita  Konkka took up the same same search for herself in her novel Talvi Ravennassa (Winter in Ravenna). The dreams live there, too, quite as much as in the trilogy's other novels,  Tytär (The Daughter) and  Samaa sukua (The Same Family). Hullun  taivaassa  (A the Fool's Paradise) was also constructed from the I's thoughts and the diary-like narrative, where reality and dreams overlapped. In the book Nainen  unen peilissä  (Woman in the Mirror of Dreams) the dreams have finally received the leading role. The explanations and interpretations follow them. Konkka has extensively familiarized herself with dream studies in various parts of the world. She relies on myths and ideas for her own dreams and brings forth many different methods of interpretation. Freudians, Jungians and many more modern concepts proceed side by side. Konkka interprets them crosswise. Thus the merits of the book are increased. Dream interpretation is witchcraft where no single truth exists.

A Fool's Paradise now in  English and Russian.   An  excert  from The   Garden of Desires has been published in the anthology Best European Fiction 2011  edited by Aleksandar Hemon.

BEF 2011/29 – The Clown [Finland]

Best European Fiction 2011

Editor Aleksandar Hemon's selection for this year's edition of one of the most rewarding anthologies around includes writers as well-known as Hilary Mantel, author of the Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall, and as unfamiliarly dazzling as Lucian Dan Teodorovici (Romania), Anita Konkka (Finland), and Olga Tokarczuk (Poland). With contributions from 37 countries, and a preface by Colum McCann.

Barnes & Noble  Review

"A couple of the anthology’s best pieces involve that reliable old stomping ground of European literature, the circus. Anita Konkka writes the imaginary memoirs of a famous clown who has grown discouraged with life: Konkka finds just the right tone of listlessness to convey an artful sense of the clown’s decline. With similar skill, Olga Tokarczuk, from Poland, plunges us into the mixed motives of a man who marries a circus sideshow attraction, “the ugliest woman in the world.”