Laila (tidl. Hietamies) Hirvisaari

1938 - 2021


Laila Hietamies was born in the Karelian town of Viborg. Both her former husband, Heikki Hietamies, and her daughter, Eve Hietamies, are authors. In her historical and emphatically realist novels, Laila Hietamies moves mostly within the Karelian community.

In her debut novel Lehmusten kaupunki, 1972, and the sequel Unohduksen lumet, 1973, as well as in Kukkivat Kummut, 1976, the stories focus on Villmanstrand of the 1930s, where the women are confronted with soldiers from the garrison. Her other works include a series on the region of the Karelian Isthmus, which was launched in 1980 with Mäeltä näkyy toinen mäik and was concluded in 1984. It looks at town life from the 1920s up to the evacuation after the Winter War from 1939 to 1940 and the challenge of a new environment. Her Ladoga series is also set in the region of the Karelian Isthmus near the Soviet Russian border.

Additions by the editorial team 2011:

The above biography was first published in 1998. Since then, Laila Hirvisaari has published a large number of novels. Under her former name, Laila Hietamies, she has written three books in the Anni series: Kylä järvien sylissä, 1998, Siniset Viipurin illat, 1999, and Kesän korkea taivas, 2000, as well as another four books in the Lehmusten kaupunki series: Syksyksi kotiin, 2001, Koivu ja tähti, 2002, Siellä jossakin, 2003, and Kallis kotimaa, 2004.

Under the name Laila Hirvisaari she has published the following works since 2004: Kuununpuisto, 2005, Myrskyn edellä, 2006, Grand Hotel, 2007, Vuoksen helmi, 2008, and Pihkovan kellot, 2009.

Further Reading

Maaria Linko: "Emotions, memories and romance readers: a case study of Laila Hietamies and her fans" in: Diegesis: Journal of the Association for Research in Popular Fictions, 3, 1998