The Finnish writer speaks about her fiction
Minna Lindgren, born in 1963, is a renowned and award-winning journalist and author famous for her whimsical writing style and fearless approach to even the touchiest topics. The Sunset Grove trilogy (2013 - 2015), a hilarious, sharp and satirical tale about three 90-year-old ladies solving murder mysteries, is a bestseller not only in her native Finland, but worldwide, with translations into 10 languages. This interview was conducted through email communications.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am slowly reading The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro; it has just recently been translated into Finnish. Since I am coming to Bangladesh, I just ordered from a library a collection of Rabindranath Tagore's poems.
Is this going to be your first visit to Bangladesh? How do you feel about attending the DLF this year?
Yes, this is my first visit to Bangladesh. I am extremely excited about it. Everything I have heard, read and seen about the festival makes me feel honored to attend it.
Are you working on any writing project now?
I am always working on many writing projects. At the moment I am finishing a libretto for the composer Iiro Rantala, which will be performed in Berlin Komische Oper 2021. My next novel will be about the Finnish public school, a dystopia, since we are in a middle of an absurd chain of changes in our school system, although it is one of the best in the world. In this book there will also be people aged over 90 years old.
Your highly acclaimed Lavender Ladies trilogy revolves around female protagonists aged above 90 years. Why?
In Finland people live longer and longer. The age group over 90 is the most rapidly growing. This should be good news—we have a good health care system and living standard where people are able, live longer and stay healthy. But we take this situation like it is a catastrophe. The public discussion about old people is extremely negative, we calculate money and argue who is going to take care of all the old people. I have always seen healthy, happy old people around me. I wanted to write about these people but not forget the problems we have in our society and its bad attitude towards old people.
What would you say to young writers who aspire to write fiction?
Do not write about yourself! Be patient and wait for the big subject, since you have to have a message when you write fiction.