Maaria was born in 1982 in Tohmajärvi, a village close to the Russian border in Eastern Finland. Her family moved to Moscow and lived there for three years, when Maaria was a teenager. She started writing poems for a newspaper at the age of 13, earning her pocket money for several years that way. Later on she studied the translation of Russian, but changed her major to Comparative Literature, and graduated with a Master of Arts in 2006.
For five years Maaria worked as a mother tongue teacher at a junior high in Helsinki. Silja and Mai, her first novel, was published in 2010. Shortly after that, Maaria moved to Germany, where she spent a few years writing and working part-time as a kindergarten teacher.
Her second novel, I love You Young Man (ntamo 2011), was shortlisted for a literary prize of Mahdollisen Kirjallisuuden Seura in Finland. With her third novel, Scratches, Maaria got shortlisted for The Runeberg Award 2014, one of Finland’s most prestigious literary prizes.
Her debut collection of poetry, Your Parts Don’t Move (ntamo 2014), got great reviews. In 2014 Maaria’s fourth novel, Hungry, Thirsty (Into Kustannus) came out. Before it was released in Finland, its rights were sold to German speaking countries, where it will be published as Bin hungrig, bin durstig, and Iceland. Hungry, Thirsty saw its premiere as a puppet theatre play in 2015 in Helsinki.
Maaria lives and writes these days in Iceland, where her first child was born 2016.
Prizes & Awards
– Shortlisted for the book prize of Mahdollisen Kirjallisuuden Seura 2012
– Shortlisted for Runeberg Prize 2014
– Shortlisted for the book prize of Mahdollisen Kirjallisuuden Seura 2014