22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Timo Parvela

Timo Parvela was born in Finland in 1964. The former primary school teacher has been working as a freelance writer since 1996. Alongside many books for children and young adults, he has written several television scripts for children and adults, textbooks for learning Finnish and contributions to Finnish radio. In seminars the author discusses the meaning of literature and stories in their real lives with teachers and children. He takes the view that every adult needs stories to support them in their lives; children on the other hand need a complete, protective fortress of stories as a defensive sanctuary. He is conscious of the responsibility of adults who mediate literature to laying the foundations for this fortress.

Tim Parvela’s humorous children’s books about the primary schoolgirl »Ella« (1995) are included in the school curriculum in Finland and have become cult classics. A film adaptation is currently planned. The success of this series is surely rooted in the stories’ connection to the particular feelings and perceptions of children and is also due to the many humorous moments that they describe. Ella’s school life is turbulent: alongside her fellow pupils she experiences many small adventures, as well as encountering larger mysteries, for example when discovering the origins of a blackmail letter received by her teacher. Sieglinde Geisel, in a review in the Neue Züricher Zeitung, describes the presentation of the books and the reasons for their success as follows: »A perfect little work of art with deceptively simple comic elements […] Timo Parvela manages to extract quite new, colourful nuances from the old trick of a pseudo-naïve child’s perspective: word games, slapstick, and high nonsense are tightly interwoven.« Conflicts are clearly to be understood and resolved, and are often the starting point of further antics.

The author has recently published the second volume of a fantasy trilogy, »Tiera« (2008), and is working on the third in the series: the trilogy is based on the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. The first volume, »Tuliterä. Sammon varijat 1« (2007, t: Fireblade), won the Topelius Prize in 2007. In this trilogy Timo Parvela is concerned with the narrative possibilities of contemporary fantasy literature, and is developing his own narrative strategies for the continued evolution of the genre. Timo Parvela has mainly received awards for his books at national level. He lives and works in Finland.

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