About the author
Hannu Salama was born in Kouvola in south-eastern Finland. He comes from the working class and worked in his youth as an electrician. As a prose writer, he works in the Finnish tradition and refrains from experimenting with modern styles. His attitude to life is one of disillusion and irreligiousness; he was even sentenced to three months’ suspended imprisonment for blasphemy after publishing the novel Juhannustanssit in 1964. However, he was subsequently pardoned by President Kekkonen.
About the winning piece
Siinä näkijä missä tekijä is a family chronicle describing the significant political and social tensions in Finnish history while also containing characteristics of a Bildungsroman. It describes, for instance, the resistance and sabotage of Communist groups during the Continuation War. Hannu Salama sees himself as a working-class writer, but despite his political position on the left he upheld his autonomous stance against the more dogmatic Communist groups. He was also severely criticised by these groups for not describing Communist heroes as one-dimensionally positive.
Siinä näkijä missä tekijä
Published by: Otava Publishing Company
Publication year: 1972
This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say
The Nordic Council Literature Prize 1975 is awarded to the Finnish writer Hannu Salama for his novel "Siinä näkijä missä tekijä" in which, with epic and moral candour, he depicts a time full of contrasts in his country’s history.