Märta Tikkanen (b. 1935) is a Finnish-Swedish journalist, writer, and teacher. Much of her writing deals critically with gender roles and the shackles that bind women, as well as women’s liberation and the desire for self-realization. She became a central figure in the Nordic women’s movement with her novel Manrape (1978), which was adapted into a 1978 film directed by Jörn Donner. She is the recipient of several awards for her work, including the Nordic Women’s Alternative Literature Prize, Finland’s State Prize for the Dissemination of Knowledge, the Swedish De Nios Grand Prize, the Swedish Academy’s Finland Prize, and Finland’s State Literary Prize. Her work has been translated into over 20 languages.
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Hailed an immediate classic of Finnish literature on its publication in 1978 and an international bestseller that has been translated into 19 languages, Märta Tikkanen’s verse novel is a haunting, profoundly evocative portrait of one woman’s fraught relationship with her alcoholic husband, inspired by the author’s own experience. In language that is as delicate as it is fierce, Tikkanen explores the depths of fear and violence that often accompany addiction and the struggle to reconcile that pain with the deep love and strength necessary to hold a family together through it all. As much a story of resilience as it is suffering, The Love Story of the Century is a bittersweet account of the complexities of addiction, the power of creativity, and the redemption of love.