The Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize for 2020

14 Feb 2020

The Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize 2020 is awarded to Rosa Liksom. The prize was founded in connection with the Academy’s 200-year anniversary in 1986 and funded by the Karin and Karl Ragnar Gierow Foundation. The award goes to someone from the Nordic countries with a significant accomplishment in one of the Academy’s fields of interest or activity. Recent prize winners have included Thomas Bredsdorff (2015), Monika Fagerholm (2016), Dag Solstad (2017), Agneta Pleijel (2018) and Karl Ove Knausgård (2019).

The prize sum is 400,000 Swedish crowns. The award ceremony will take place in the Grand Hall of the Stockholm Stock Exchange on 1 April.

Rosa Liksom (a pseudonym for Anni Ylävaara) is a writer born in 1958 in Finnish Övertorneå, a region straddling the border with Sweden. She has lived in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, France and the Soviet Union and is currently resident in Helsinki.

In her books, Liksom shifts between Helsinki and Lapland. She has written about city people, youth, and people from the remoteness of northern Finland. In 2011 she received the Finlandia Prize for Compartment No. 6 (Hytti nro 6) and in 2013 the Pro Finlandia Medal. In 2013, Compartment No. 6 was Finland’s nomination for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize. Her books Unohdettu vartti (1986; “Frozen Moments”) and Station Gagarin (1987; Väliasema Gagarin) have been nominated for the same prize.

Among her other books are Go Moskva go (1988; “Go Moskva Go”), Tyhjän tien paratiisit (1989; “Paradise Ultra Light”), Väliaikainen (2014; “Such Is Life”) and most recently The Colonel’s Wife (Everstinna, 2017).

Rosa Liksom is one of the most prominent modern authors in Finland and the first Finnish writer to use Meänkieli, a distinct group of Finnish dialects spoken in the border region with Sweden. She is a cultural celebrity and also active as an artist, playwright and author of comic books.