Marja-Liisa Vartio
Humanist of the day

Marja-Liisa Vartio

Maija-Liisa Vartio was a poet and prose writer. She is particularly remembered for her novels, which she put through three drafts before publication. Vartio’s career was brief, but her works are regarded as milestones of modernism. Her novels typically deal with the joys and sorrows of everyday life.

Marja-Liisa Vartio

Maija-Liisa Orvokki Vartio (née Sairanen, 1955-66 Haavikko)
Born September 11, 1924, Sääminki. Died June 17, 1966, Savonlinna

Bachelor of Arts (Art History), Master of Arts, University of Helsinki, 1950
Study trips to Italy (1952), Soviet Union (1959)

Poet, author

State Prize for Literature, 1954, 1958

Named after Vartio:
Marja-Liisa Vartio Prize 1994

Photo: Otava / Pentti Unho
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by John Calton

Marja-Liisa Vartio (née Sairanen) started her studies at the University of Helsinki in 1944. She studied art history, aesthetics and modern literature and received her Bachelor’s degree in 1950. Vartio became a writer.

Vartio wrote her Master’s thesis in art history under the instruction of Aune Lindström. The thesis…

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Works published by Marja-Liisa Vartio

  • Häät (poetry collection), Otava, Helsinki 1952.
  • Seppele (poetry collection), Otava, Helsinki 1953.
  • Maan ja veden välillä (collection of short stories), Otava, Helsinki 1955.
  • Se on sitten kevät (novel), Otava, Helsinki 1957.
  • Mies kuin mies, tyttö kuin tyttö (novel), Otava, Helsinki 1958.
  • Säkki (radio play), 1959.
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