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Jukka-Pekka Pietiäinen

Jukka-Pekka Pietiäinen
Born November 23, 1956,  Helsinki.

Master of Arts, 1978, Licentiate of Philosophy 1986, and Doctor of Philosophy (Finnish History), University of Helsinki
Docent, Finnish History, 1988-, University of Helsinki

Executive Director, Suomen tietokirjailijat ry - the Finnish Association of Non-fiction Writers
Chair, Bibliofiilien Seura (Finnish Society of Bibliophiles) , 2009-15
Book publisher, Edita, 1995-2006
Full-time historical author, 1981-95

Research interests: All aspects of independent Finland’s history, history, present and future of non-fiction writing in Finland.

Sulkakynä (‘The quill’) award, Pekka Tarjanne Fund

Photo: Linda Lappalainen
Written by Jukka-Pekka Pietiäinen (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by John Calton

One Hundred Notable Works of Finnish Non-fiction

In spring 2011 I tried out an idea on Joel Kuortti: how about putting together a list of one hundred significant works of Finnish non-fiction? I knew that Joel, Professor of English Philology at the University of Turku, was a sworn bibliophile. When we got the list ready, we decided each to write fifty short essays. These were then published in June 2014 as book called 100 merkittävää suomalaista tietokirjaa. Abckiriasta Mustaan orkideaan (’One Hundred Notable Works of Finnish Non-fiction. From Agricola’s ABCkiria to Elina Grundström’s black orchid’, Paasilinna press).

We set up a portable exhibition based on the book, which was displayed in June 2014 at the antiquarian books festival in Sastamala. By the end of 2015 the exhibition will have toured over twenty events and libraries.

My day-to-day work does not allow for large writing projects, but it does make it possible to take up shorter commissions. This one opened up the whole field of non-fiction for me. We included encyclopedias and other reference works, reports, guides and teaching material, non-fiction written for children and young adults, pamphlets, historical works, nature books and so on. The oldest book was from 1543 and the most recent from autumn 2013.

We asked readers to submit suggestions (by email 100tietokirjaa@gmail.com) as to what is missing from our book. Joel wrote a piece about the responses for the Bibliophilos magazine. Now we would have included at least two more books – Kotiruoka (‘Home cooking’) and Koulun biologia (‘Biology for schools’). I had little idea of their importance or impact when I was writing our book. The journey of discovery continues.

Image: Suomen tietokirjailijat ry.​
Image: Suomen tietokirjailijat ry.​


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