There are so many ways to carve up the territory. By language?
By region? By era? By genre (e.g. childrens' literature)? I'm
using a mix of both, and someday I'll figure a way to cross index
things so that you can group things to suit your own interests.
So far, I've written up so few of my notes nobody will have a
problem just looking at everything
Modern Finnish literature (20th and 21st centuries)
Older Finnish classics
- Tove Jansson (the Moomin books)
- Barnerna ifrån Frostmofjället
- Selma Lagerlöf (Nills Holgerssons Underbara Resa)
- Astrid Lindgren (Pippi, Emil, and others)
- Kai Söderhjelm: Björn Rymmer til Fjälls. An undiscovered, largely unknown and almost unobtainable childrens' classic -- or at least it ought to be. Young Björn, after an especially wonderful summer camping trip with buddies in the Nikkaluokta area of Swedish Lappland, decides not to go home, but to live outdoors on food left behind by tourists in STF huts and kåtor (mostly dried mashed potato powder, it seems). Björn seems to have very indulgent parents. The book has a lovely debate on the relative merits of leather boots vs. gummiboots, a debate that continues in boggy Lappland to this day (though high-top leather seems to be gradually winning out.) I found this book on the shelf of the STF stuga in Vaisaluokta and read it there. It's in some libraries, but I've been looking to buy a copy for years, without success so far. Never translated into English, so far as I can tell. Some information on the author and his works can be found here.
Sapme (Lappland) themes (fiction and nonfiction)
- Yngve Ryd. I just recently discovered this wonderful author, who lives in Jokkmok. He writes books based on extensive interviews with locals to Sapme (both Sami and ethnic Swedes, but somewhat more the former), which document old lore and skills. I've just finished reading Eld (Fire). He also has books on Snö (Snow) and Ren och Varg (Reindeer and Wolves), among many others. So far, none of his books has been translated from Swedish, and truth to be told they're not all that easy to get even in Sweden (though you can get the recent ones online through bokus , at least at the time I'm writing this. Who knows how long that will last. Ryd has appeared at the Jokkmokk Vintermarknad, and lectures at Ajjte (the Sami culture and nature museum in Jokkmok) from time to time. Umeå University recently awarded him an honorary doctorate, so perhaps his international recognition will grow. Eld is a remarkable book. It is not a book of dry ethnology, but a book of living, usable, even vital knowledge.I have been making fires for decades, probably most of them in Northern Sweden and Finland. Yet, in the first evening with this book, I learned things that changed forever how I go about making fires. There are things in here that are as useful to making a fire in your fireplace as they are out in the tundra, and other things that can save your life if you're stuck out on a cold night. And other things that are deep and rich (like why you shouldn't use your axe after dark --- it might attract Stalo). I know a lot of people who don't read Swedish but who would enjoy Eld; I'd be interested in doing a translation of it myself, if I thought I could interest a publisher.