Sirpa Kähkönen

Key Information

The ‘Kuopio’ Series, in order of publication

  • Black Brides (Original Finnish title: Mustat morsiamet, 1998)
  • The Nights of Iron (Rautayöt, 2002)
  • The Spring of Ice and Wind (Jään ja tulen kevät, 2004)
  • Wings of Fabric (Lakanasiivet, 2007)
  • The Shoe of the Maiden (Neidonkenkä, 2009)
  • The Sand Cradle (Hietakehto, 2012)
  • The Summer of the Tanks (Tankkien kesä, 2016)

The novel Granite Man (Graniittimies, 2014) and the non-fiction book The Flames of Hatred and Love – Finland in the 1930s (Vihan ja rakkauden liekit, 2010) also contain references to characters and events in the Kuopio series. The illustrated volume Under Kuopio’s Sky (Kuopion taivaan alla, 2013) is a guide to the places mentioned in the series.

Key Characters in the Kuopio Series

(This list is included in the print edition of The Summer of the Tanks)

Anna Tuomi, mother
Lassi Tuomi, revolutionary, blacksmith
Otto Tuomi, merchant, son of Anna and Lassi
Lilja Tuomi, office clerk, daughter of Anna and Lassi
Hilla, Lilja’s daughter

Hilda Tuomi, laundrywoman, owner of a clothes mangle, Lassi’s older sister

Elias Tuomi, engineer, director of ski factory, Lassi’s older brother, missing in the Soviet Union
Klaara Tuomi, wife of Elias, missing in the Soviet Union
Aarne Tuomi, mechanic, Lassi’s older brother, missing in the Soviet Union
Jalmari Tuomi, Aarne’s son, raised by Hilda Tuomi, missing in the war against the Soviet Union

Serafiina Tuomi, matriarch of the Tuomi family
Old Lassi Tuomi, patriarch of the Tuomi family

Juho Tiihonen, war orphan, later an architect
Johan Kelo, doctor, foster father to Juho
Selma Kelo, wife of Johan, previously married to Ilmari Lehtivaara, deceased
Sirkka Kelo, nurse, daughter of Johan Kelo from a previous marriage, died during the war
Korhonen, grandfather of Juho Tiihonen
Mikaela Kelo, child
Michael Mulligan, British volunteer in the Winter War

Ensio Mertanen, businessman
Edith Mertanen (née Valli), restaurant proprietor, evacuee from Vyborg
Stella Mertanen, daughter of Ensio and Edith
Ulla Mertanen, daughter of Ensio Mertanen from a previous marriage
Stiina, soothsayer and nursemaid from Ensio Mertanen’s childhood

Helvi Martiskainen-Heiskanen, head waitress, evacuee from Sortavala
Mari Martiskainen, midwife, daughter of Helvi
Constable Heiskanen, husband of Helvi

Ilmari Lehtivaara, journalist, director of Huuhkajamäki Oy
Marieke Candrix-Lehtivaara, Belgian journalist, wife of Ilmari
Marius Lehtivaara, son of Ilmari and Marieke
Jaakko Lehtivaara, university student, war casualty, son of Ilmari Lehtivaara with Selma Lehtivaara (later Kelo)

Eino Tiikkainen, ideological fellow of Lassi Tuomi
Liisa Tiikkainen, sister of Eino, in the Soviet Union
Armas Tiikkainen, brother of Eino and Liisa, missing in the Soviet Union

Hertta Miettinen, art teacher, artist, current foster mother of Charlotta

Helmer Karlsson, former head water at Tatra restaurant

Elsa Hujanen, mother
Arvi Hujanen, foreman in Sweden, son of Elsa, friend of Juho and Mari
Eeva Hujanen, wife of Arvi
Lill-Elsa, daughter of Arvi and Eeva
Johan, son of Arvi and Eeva

Mizzi Gans (Marie Goldblum), dancer
Charlotta Gans, daughter of Mizzi
Kampi-Korsberg, carousel operator, husband of Mizzi Gans
Kaarlo Torkkeli, clarinetist, rumoured to be Charlotta’s father
Kalle Blomberg, bassist, Charlotta’s current foster father

Rose Maxwell, architect in London
Veli Kivi, architect and colleague of Juho Tiihonen in Finland

Arvo Savilahti, teacher
Meeri Savilahti, teacher, wife of Arvo
Markku Savilahti, university student, son of Arvo and Meeri

Robert Salovuo, publisher

Samuli Karho, pastor

Miss Sherri, strip-tease dancer

Sofia Menzelova, Czech scholarship student

Pohto, war horse
Bella, horse captured in war
Virkku, carriage horse, son of Pohto
Molli, cat
Rauha, dog
Jacqueline, canary
Gagarin, canary
Kennedy, canary

Mantuska, evil marionette

St Lawrence, martyred on a gridiron. The Perseids meteor shower is sometimes referred to as the ‘tears of St Lawrence’. His feast day is August 10th.
Pärttyli, the Finnish name of Bartholomew the Apostle. Mythical sender of birds; martyred by flaying. His feast day is August 24th.

Street Names in Granite Man

Street names as they were used by characters in the novel during the Petrograd/Leningrad era, and their present-day equivalents

Rakova Street = Italyanskaya Ulitsa
Lassalle Square = Iskusstv Ploshchad, Arts Square
October 25th Avenue = Nevsky Prospekt
Uritsky Square = Dvortsovaya Ploshchad, Palace Square
Volodarsky Avenue = Liteyny Prospekt
Bloody Sunday Embankment = Dvortsovaya Naberezhnaya, Palace Embankment
Oktyabrsky Station = Moskovsky Station
Red Dawn Avenue = Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt (1934–1991 Kirov Prospekt)
Republic Bridge = Dvortsovy Most, Palace Bridge
Khalturina Street = Millionnaya Ulitsa
Place of the Victims of Revolution = Marsovo Polye, Field of Mars
Krasnaya Street = Galernaya Ulitsa
Gertsena Street = Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa
Tolmatshevskaya Street = Karavannaya Ulitsa
3rd July Street = Sadovaya Ulitsa
Kalyayeva Street = Zakharyevskaya Ulitsa
Voinova Street = Shpalernaya Ulitsa
Jaures Embankment = Naberezhnaya Kutuzova, Kutuzov Embankment
Ryinochnaya Street = Gangutskaya Ulitsa
Lassalle Street = Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa