MARQUETTE – Finn Grand Fest 2005 has invited 22 authors, translators and specialists to conduct interactive book discussions of Finnish and Finnish-North American literary works at the Aug. 10-14 festival taking place in Marquette.

Among presentations will be Richard Impola, the foremost translator of Finnish literature and Börje Vähämäki, translator and specialist of works by such renowned authors as Väino Linna, Aleksis Kivi and Kalle Päätalo.

In addition, the literary specialist Anna Leppanen of Finlandia University will make Antti Tuuri’s great account of The Winter War come alive.    

Canadians Varpu Lindström and Ronald Harpelle will discuss Karelian Exodus: essays on the l930’s movement of Finns to Karelia.  Lindström’s Defiant Women: A History of Finnish Women in Canada will also be highlighted. Then Connecting Souls edited by Lindstrom and Vahamaki will describe “Finnishness” in prose and poetry.

Anita Middleton will discuss her parents’ Lauri and Sylvia Hokkanen’s book, Karelia: A Finnish American Couple in Stalin’s Russia, l934-l941.

Local and regional authors featured will be Lauri Anderson, Joseph Damrell, Jerry Harju, Lynn Marie Laitala Mark Munger, Jane Piirto, and the late Ernie Ronn. Jon Saari of NMU will present his history of the Finlandia foundation, Black Ties and Miner’s Boots, and Marion Brown will discuss her grandfather’s experiences in WWI in A Finnish Immigrant Son in the Great War l9l8-l9l9.

One of Finland’s best-selling contemporary authors, Laila Hietamies’ Red Moon Over White Sea and Popular Music From Vittula by Mikhail Niemi will show Finnish fiction at its best. 

Poetry will be represented by Jim Johnson working in conjunction with photographer Marlene Wisuri.

Children’s author, Kaarina Brooks from Canada will discuss her folk tales and poetry for children, stressing the problems of translation.  And William Durbin, popular young adult author, will tell the story of The Darkest Evening, a thrilling “escape” adventure.

These discussions should show both adults and young people the heritage and cultural aspects of Finland through its literature, which is rich and varied.  A full schedule of lectures, workshops and presentations is available at

The book discussions and all other lecture presentations are free of charge to registered festival attendees.  One can register for the festival at the Web site or can take advantage of on-site registration at the Peter White Lounge of the University Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University from Tuesday through Sunday (Aug. 8-14).

Prepared By
John Kiltinen