Selected Writings

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Bloodaxe Books, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 160 pages
Mirjam Tuominen was a major poet and short story writer, as well as a distinguished essayist, translator and artist. Her work progressed through traditional prose, modernist poetry and abstract painting to Roman Catholic mysticism. She is one of the trio of great Scandinavian women poets, along with Edith Sodergran and Karin Boye - all three published in English by Bloodaxe Books.
Her stories are often about love's intensity, its eroticism and tenderness, about jealousy and struggles for power between men and women. They are acute in their depiction of small town life in Finland in the 1940s, and in capturing her sense of dread at the alarming upsurge of Nazi sympathies during the War. Everything she wrote afterwards was scarred by the horror of the Holocaust, and in particular by one news story of a German soldier who threw a Jewish boy into a sewer because the boy cried when the soldier was whipping his mother. Mirjam Tuominen had a frightening, self-destructive ability to react directly to the suffering of others, and much of her poetry can be traced to her anguished response to this one incident. Her poems are obsessive in confronting guilt, vulnerability and power, in their searching for absolute truth in a world she saw as split between victims and tormentors.

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User Review  - Michael Murray - Goodreads

Poetry and prose works from multi-talented Finno-Swedish writer. Died 1967. Read full review


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from Early Doubt 1938
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