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Linna, Väinö

Born:
December 20, 1920
Dead:
April 21, 1992
Foto: Schildts bildarkiv

Finnish author born in Urjala as the seventh child in a working class family of ten children. His father, a butcher, died when Väinö was seven years old and his mother provided for the family by working at the Honkala estate. Väinö went to school for six years and started working when he was fifteen as a farmhand, lumberjack and sawmill worker, and between 1938 and 1954 as an industrial labourer at the Finlayson textile factory in Tampere. During this period he spent most of his spare time in the local library. Linna served in the Finnish Army between 1941 and 1944, he trained as an officer and acquired the rank of corporal. At the start of the Continuation War, he was sent to the front to command a machine gun platoon. He made notes throughout the war and tried to get them published, but without success. Linna is said to have burned them, but then he had the idea of writing a novel describing a soldier's experiences and what he thought about the war. When the war was over he married Kerttu Seur. The couple lived in Tampere and Linna started to write full time in 1955. He was elected to the Finnish Academy in 1980.

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