Fun Facts Friday: Frans Eemil Sillanpää

September 16, 2022

Frans Eemil Sillanpää (16 September, 1888 – 3 June, 1964) was a famous Finnish writer, and the first Finn to win the Nobel Prize for literature.  He is known for such novels as The Maid Silja.

Fun Facts Friday: Frans Eemil Sillanpää
Books by Frans Eemil Sillanpää*

Fun Facts about Frans Eemil Sillanpää:

  1. was born at ,Ylä-Satakunta, Hämeenkyrö, a Finnish municipality that is part of the Pirkanmaa region. His family was peasants who made their living as farmers.
  2. The family suffered many trials common to those living in parts of Finland. Frosts killed their crops, farm animals died, and sadly so did many children. Only the youngest of the family, Frans Eemil, survived to adulthood.
  3. Even though his parents, Frans Henrik Henriksso, and Loviisa Vilhelmiina Iisaksdotter, were poor, they managed to gather enough money to send him to school where he was known as an excellent student. This was not easy, as every little bit they could scrape together needed to be saved for five years.
  4. In 1908 Mr. Sillanpää entered the University of Helsinki to study medicine. He was helped by a benefactor to pay tuition. At the time, a promising student could study on borrowed money for many years. At some point, after a few years, his benefactor cut him off, but since the final examination was in a far off, future date, the young man went back to live with his poor parents.
  5. Sillanpää wrote a short story, and sent it to a large newspaper. Amazingly the paper published the story and he got paid.
  6. After writing several more successful stories, a publisher approached Frans Eemil Sillanpää and asked if he think he could write a whole book. An advance was offered and a book was written.
  7. The author met his wife of 25 years, at a dance when she was 17 years old. The couple had eight children, sadly Mrs. Sillanpää passed away in 1939. The author married again, to Anna Armia von Hertzen.
  8. A few days before his second wedding, the author found out he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The first Finn to earn such an honor.
  9. A few days after he received his prize, the Winter war between Finland and the Soviet Union began. Frans Eemil Sillanpää donated his medal to be melted to fund the war.
  10. The author’s works have been translated into almost every language, including Hebrew.

Books by Frans Eemil Sillanpää*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: Frans Eemil Sillanpää
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Fun Facts Friday: Frans Eemil Sillanpää
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Frans Eemil Sillanpää (16 September, 1888 – 3 June, 1964) was a famous Finnish writer, and the first Finn to win the Nobel Prize for literature.  He is known for such novels as The Maid Silja.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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