"You’re seventeen, and of age now, and therefore old enough to understand what I’m going to tell you,’ my father said. ‘This place doesn’t exist."

From "Memory of Water" by Finish science fiction writer Emmi Itäranta.

"Emmi Itäranta's novel is set in Northern Finland. It depicts the consequences of climate change and the lack of water. The novel's poetic language, detailed depictions of the nature, and thrilling plot have enchanted readers all around the world. In my lecture, I will discuss themes of contemporary Finnish dystopias, including ecological crises, the precarious job market, oppression, and violence." Hanna Samola.

Popular genre

Dystopian fiction became a popular genre in Finnish fiction in 1990s and in the beginning of 21st century. Hanna Samola compares Finnish dystopias to works written in Sweden and in other countries, pointing out elements peculiar mainly to Finnish dystopian literature.

Dystopia and fairy tale

Hanna Samola
Hanna Samola

Hanna Samola, PhD works as a University Lecturer in Finnish at the Stockholm University and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tampere in the project "Darkening Visions. Dystopian Fiction in Contemporary Finnish Literature", funded by Kone Foundation. Her doctoral dissertation (2016) examined the combination of dystopia and fairy tale in contemporary Finnish literature.  Samola's current research interests include fairy tale and dystopian studies, myths, folklore, and genre studies.