from the February 2018 issue
Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo (b. 1974) is one of the freshest and most exciting literary authors in Finland today. Her unique, feminine voice, the distinct spark in her writing, and the exceptional sensitivity to rhythm in her language make her truly stand out. Taivassalo, who has been awarded several prizes, writes originally in Swedish. Taivassalo has published several novels, worked in theater, written plays, and studied at the Theatre Academy, as well as at the University of Helsinki. Among other prizes, she has been awarded The Runeberg prize for her first novel, Andrej Krapi's Five Knives (2007), and the Finlandspris (from a Swedish culture fund) in 2017 for her “unique authorship,” her “novels with unexpected twists,” and for “detailed, lyric and impressionistic prose.”
Photograph © Niklas Sandström
Catherine Anyango Grünewald (born 1982, Swedish/Kenyan) is an internationally exhibited artist and lecturer. In 2010 her graphic novel adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was published to critical acclaim and it has been translated into eight languages. In 2018 she illustrated Scandorama, a dystopian Scandinavian graphic novel written by Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo, and her own upcoming graphic novel, 2x2, explores the physical effects of guilt and corruption. Catherine’s fine art practice uses the materiality of drawing tools to explore meaning, exploiting the physical properties of pencil and eraser to render events with realism but to also explore unseen dimensions. Her drawings tackle the historical and contemporary systemic oppression of people who have been marginalized and underrepresented. The process and labor invested in the work is a direct homage to the subjects, victims of violent domestic or institutional crimes. Catherine taught at the Royal College of Art in London for ten years and is now a senior lecturer in illustration at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Photo © Mikael Lindström.
Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel
Saskia Vogel is a writer and Swedish-to-English translator from Los Angeles. Permission, her debut novel, was published in five languages in 2019. Her translations include work by Lina Wolff, Lena Andersson, Karolina Ramqvist, and the Modernist eroticist Rut Hillarp. In 2016 she received an honorable mention from the Pushcart Prize for her story “Sluts," published by the Offing. Her translations and other work can be found in publications such as the White Review, the Paris Review Daily, Granta, and Guernica. Previously, she worked as Granta magazine’s publicist and as an editor at the AVN Media Network, where she reported on the business of pornography and adult pleasure products.