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Eila Pennanen (1916–1994)

Author of Himmun rakkaudet

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Eila Pennanen was the daughter of a factory manager. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Helsinki in 1940 and a library degree in 1947. She first worked as a librarian, archivist, and at an advertising agency. Later she held positions as an editor, including as cultural editor of the literary magazine Parnasso. Her debut novel Ennen sotaa oli nuoruus (Before the War, Was a Youth) was published in 1942, and Eila went on to become one of the most important Finnish writers of the 20th century. Many critics have named her Tampere trilogy — Himmun rakkaudet (1971), Koreuden tähden (1972), and Ruusuköynnös (1973), based partly on her own family history — as her most important work. Eila Pennanen was a prolific writer and a renowned literary critic, translator of English-language works by E. M. Forster, J. R. R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and others, radio play dramatist, and author of books for young people. Many of her works received national awards. Eila Pennanen was married twice, first in 1945 to Alpo Vammelvuo, an actor seven years her junior, with whom she had two sons. After their divorce in 1953 she married Juhani Jaskari, with whom she translated into Finnish several works by Vladimir Nabokov.
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