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Ask the authors: Ville Tietäväinen

Berlin's International Literature Festival is in full swing. In keeping with our focus on authors, Finnish graphic novelist Ville Tietäväinen talks about his favourite character and his literary nightmare. He appears at the fest on Sep 8.

Image for Ask the authors: Ville Tietäväinen
Photo by Pertti Nisonen.

The Finnish author of “Näkymättömät kädet” (Invisible Hands, still in translation), which follows the fate of an illegal immigrant from Morocco to prosperous Europe with journalistic precision, will be part of the ILB’s graphic novel focus (Sep 8, 11:00).

Describe yourself in three words starting with the same letter…

Just, jovial, (occasionally) juvenile.

Your favourite character?

M y daughter Aino in Vain pahaa unta (Just Bad Dreams), in which we drew Aino’s nightmares from when she was three.

Your recurring literary nightmare?

That I’d have to do some kind of never­ending series and repeat myself.

A book you wish you had authored?

A best­ seller! Shaun Tan’s The Arrival.

Your first memory of writing/drawing…

At four, I won a candy drawing competition, using only black diagonal shapes – the shape of the company’s popular liquorice sweets.

If I weren’t a graphic author, I’d be…


Originally published in Issue 119, September 2013.