At a small event hosted by the Consul General from Finland, introducing best-selling author Salla Simukka from Finland, I learned a little about Nordic Noir and Finnish Weird.
Simukka’s takes the lines from Snow White as the three titles of the trilogy: As Red as Blood, As White as Snow, and As Black as Ebony, but this is not a fairytale retelling or fantasy. Rather they are gritty, dark, and intense crime novels for teens.
I also learned that in Finnish, the third person pronoun has no gender differentiation, so a reader of the Finnish original would have little clue as to the gender of the love interest of the main character. (And in book 2, the full identity is revealed and it is probably going to be a surprise for most readers!)
These books’ English editions have been available in the States since 2013 but now are getting a re-release (probably some editorial revision as well) starting January 2017 by Random House/Crown Books for Young Readers.
Salla had a conversation with her U.S. editor Phoebe Yeh (WNDB) discussing her writing style and views. She’s eloquent and full of energy.
Hopefully we will see more and more translated contemporary work from other countries to enrich young people’s understanding of the world and empower them to be true global citizens.