Sofi Oksanen

Sofi Oksanen (1977), who is Estonian on her mother’s side, is one of the few internationally known contemporary authors who need no further introduction to Estonian audiences. This is largely thanks to her third novel Purge (Puhdistus, 2008), which was based on a play of the same name that premiered at the Finnish National Theatre. The book became a phenomenon in Estonia because it dealt with the painful issues of the country’s recent history, tying them with a suspenseful plot and broader social problems like violence against women and human trafficking in Europe. Purge also became Oksanen’s breakthrough in the rest of the world; for instance, in France it became the first non-French book that won the Fnac critics’ prize in 2010 and the first Finnish work of literature to win the Prix Femina for the best foreign language book. Oksanen’s fifth novel Norma, a psychological family drama with a magical undercurrent (2015) will be published in Estonian this year.