The author Pekka Hiltunen has been awarded the Kaarle Prize for 2012 for his debut novel The Friend. The Kaarle Prize is named after Kaarle Jaakko Gummerus, the founder of Gummerus, and is awarded every year for distinguished literary works. The price has been awarded since 1970, now for the 42nd time.
The jury explained their decision:
“Pekka Hiltunen’s The Friend brings hope to a cold society of abusers, opening up a new universe of Finnish thriller fiction.”
Hiltunen’s debut novel is an addictive psychological thriller, dealing with the friendship between two strong Finnish women, and skilfully executed cons. The book does not shy away from current issues: political populism, the rise of the far right and the abuse of women. Hiltunen’s novel has garnered rave reviews, and was also nominated as the first thriller for years for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for debut novels. Foreign rights for the book have so far been sold to France, Poland and the Czech Rebulic.
Pekka Hiltunen (b. 1966) is an author and journalist living in Helsinki. He works as a managing editor at the Image magazine. Hiltunen’s debut novel came about on an around the world trip in eight countries, the first of a series of books set in London. Hiltunen was awarded the Writing Editor prize for 2010.