The Border

Meanwhile, her 16-year old self-mutilating niece, Mari, blossoms as she falls in love with her Finnish teacher. But when he tries to end their affair, she starts cutting herself again. The passionate love between the student and teacher is witnessed by the innocent eyes of the elder’s 6-year old daughter. The author elegantly weaves these stories together, showing how different generations struggle with life while also flirting with death. Riikka Pulkkinen’s debut novel, The Border,sparked enormous interest when it appeared in 2006. The Dutch translation of the book, De Grens (published by Arbeiderspers), also received fantastic reviews in the Netherlands. An excerpt in English is available. 399 pages / 140 x 220 mm


  • 2007 Kaarle Prize (Gummerus Publishers)
  • 2007 Laila Hirvisaari Prize (Bookseller’s Literary Prize)
  • 2006 Shortlisted for the Helsingin Sanomat Literary Prize for best first novel of the year
  • 2006 Most sold debut novel in Finland’s largest bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa)

Praise for The Border

“This can justly be called an extraordinarily distinguished debut.” – Helsingin Sanomat “Mature and skilfully written.” – Ilkka “A superb debut novel.” – Etelä-Suomen Sanomat “An elegant, tight, and true-to-life debut.” – MeNaiset

“Great and disturbing; a pleasure to read.” – Berner Zeitung

“Anja, Marie and Annie are so realistic because Pulkkinen manages to bring them to life with all their doubts, anxieties and passions.… A vibrant, poetic debut that sounds out the borderlines between love and death.” – Bücher magazine

“Beautiful, filled with autumnal melancholy.” – Annabelle

Published in

  • Armenian (Guitank)
  • Danish (Gyldendal)
  • Dutch / Netherlands (Arbeiderspers)
  • English / Australia (Scribe)
  • Estonian (Pegasus)
  • German (Ullstein)
  • Italian (Garzanti)
  • Swedish (Norstedts)

Rights sold

  • Norwegian (Gyldendal Norsk)


Riikka Pulkkinen

International book covers

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Media contact

Foreign rights:
Leenastiina Kakko
Foreign Rights Manager
+ 358 40 7555527

Media photos

These images may be used for articles concerning Riikka Pulkkinen’s books or the author herself. The picture source must be mentioned: © Otava / Jouni Harala.

For more photographs of Riikka, please contact:
Jouni Harala/ Studio Valo
+358 400 404 314

Click the image to download a full size image. You can also download all the pictures by clicking here (.zip, 55,5 Mb).