Anja Snellman

Anja Snellman, formerly Kauranen (b. 1954) is one of the brightest stars in Finland’s literary firmament. Her intensely topical novels have repeatedly captured public attention and catalyzed passionate debate. Contemporary readers identify with and adore the multistranded world of her novels, making her the favorite author of many devoted followers.

A chronicler of current society and humanity, Snellman is noted for her virtuosic use of language, bold sensuality, enchantingly dark humor, keen eye for the absurd, and a touching compassion for her characters. The personal and the universal, the fictive and the documentary intertwine in her works into skillful urban stories, uncompromising literary fiction for a broad readership.

Snellman has authored over twenty novels, three collections of poems, and two works of nonfiction, and her texts have been adapted for the screen and stage. She has been honored with multiple literary awards, and her works have been translated into twenty languages. With more than 100,000 copies sold, her first work, Sonia O. Was Here, is the best-selling first novel and among the biggest sensations in the history of Finnish literature. This modern classic has become a book of initiation, passed on from mothers to daughters.

Throughout her career, Snellman has sought to expand the territory of literature. This vision also guided her five-year term as head of the program committee at the Helsinki Book Fair. As her favorite writer, Michael Ondaatje, puts it, “All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.”

Snellman also works as a journalist, and she recently graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Helsinki and completed a qualification to work as an accredited psychotherapist. She is currently studying toward a PhD.

In the late 1970s, a few years before the publication of her record-breaking first novel, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Helsinki, having studied applied psychology, English philology, Finnish literature and general literature. She has also studied screenwriting in Los Angeles.

As a journalist, Snellman has hosted several topical talk shows on television and is currently the host of Sore Spot on the digital television channel of Helsingin Sanomat, the leading Nordic newspaper. She is also a well-known columnist.


“Her mastery of language, together with the exceptional courage with which she meets her subjects head on, and the often provocative beat of her prose have earned her a permanent place among major writers in the world of Finnish contemporary literature.” – World Literature Today


Bonnier Rights Finland represents the international publishing rights to all novels by Anja Snellman.



Closer (Lähestyminen, WSOY 2016)
Surrendering: A Life Story (Antautuminen, WSOY 2015)
Poems of Crime (Runoksia, WSOY 2014)
Capital: A Requiem (Pääoma, Otava 2013)
Ivana B. (Siltala 2012)
At Night We Are the Same (Öisin olemme samanlaisia,poems, Siltala 2011)
Balcony Gods (Parvekejumalat, Otava 2010)
– translated into Arabic, Latvian and Polish
Pet Shop Girls (Lemmikkikaupan tytöt, Otava 2007)
– translated into Czech, English, Italian, Polish and Spanish
Continents: A Love Story (Rakkauden maanosat, Otava 2005)
– translated into Czech and Slovak
You May Begin Now (Saa kirjoittaa, poems, Otava 2004)
Fardom (Lyhytsiipiset, Otava 2003)
– translated into Norwegian and Swedish
Mother with Dog (Äiti ja koira, Otava 2002)
– translated into Latvian and Lithuanian
Safari Club (Otava 2001)
– translated into Czech, German and Swedish
Aura (Otava 2000)
Maps of Paradise (Paratiisin kartta, Otava 1999)
– translated into German and Swedish
Bonds and Ties (Side, WSOY 1998)
Lauri of Arabia (Arabian Lauri, WSOY 1997)
Autumn Prince (Syysprinssi, WSOY 1996)
– translated into Estonian, French and Turkish
Geography of Fear (Pelon maantiede, WSOY 1995)
– translated into Danish, German and Swedish
Skin (Ihon aika, WSOY 1993)
– translated into Czech, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish
Children of Longing and Energy (Kaipauksen ja energian lapset, WSOY 1991)
Chinese Summer (Kiinalainen kesä, WSOY 1989)
Where We See Darkness (Pimeää vain meidän silmillemme, WSOY 1987)
What About Goldmouth (Kultasuu, WSOY 1985)
Tushka (WSOY 1983)
Sonia O. Was Here (Sonja O. kävi täällä, WSOY 1981)
– translated into Czech