Toivo Pekkanen

Finnish author

1902   -   1957

country of citizenship: Finland
occupation: writer
award received: Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, Aleksis Kivi Award

Toivo Rikhart Pekkanen (10 September 1902 Kotka, Finland – 30 May 1957 Copenhagen, Denmark) was a writer from Finland. He was a working class writer without much formal education and is notable for being the first member of the working class to make a living from writing. The Pekkas Award has been established in his honor. Pekkanen's breaktrough work Tehtaan varjossa (1932, in Shadow of the factory) describes realistically but dispassionately the living conditions of the working class. The hero, Samuel Oino, educates himself to get a better life - much like Pekkanen himself. His second well known book is the autobiographical Lapsuuteni (1953, My Childhood), about his poor childhood years. The Finnish Civil War is seen from the Reds' side but without bitterness.Pekkanen was in Copenhagen, Denmark, improving his health, when he died from a brain hemorrhage.
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