Mia Spangenberg is translating Pirkko Saisio into English

Another of this spring’s five translators in residence was Mia Spangenberg, who is finalising her translation of Pirkko Saisio’s Red Book of Farewells into English. She succeeded in getting an American publisher, Two Lines press, interested in the work, which will be published in the US in spring 2023.

Spangenberg compares the work of a translator to the work of a sculptor: the translation has begun to take shape, but still requires refinement.

While in residence in Finland, Mia met the author and took a walk with her in Kallio to the sites where the book takes place. She also spent time with the book Miten kirjani ovat syntyneet (How My Books Were Born), edited by Ritva Haavikko, which she found in the SKS library. Mia warmly recommends the book to all translators of Finnish literature!

Before returning home, Mia had time to see Pirkko Saisio and Marja Packalén’s play Valehtelijan peruukki (Liar’s Wig) at Helsinki’s KOM-teatteri.