literature & poetry
talks & debates

Dangerous Desires

Part of World on the Brink

Desire can be a dangerous thing. It can lead us astray, or even into lives we don't recognise as our own. Our greatest desires are rarely realised without unexpected consequences. Three leading Nordic writers – Hanne Ørstavik, Kati Hiekkapelto and Jussi Valtonen – explore the ways that desire can fire the imagination, and lead us into unknown futures.

Hanne Ørstavik is an acclaimed and award-winning Norwegian writer who has been translated into over 18 languages and celebrated for her fiction which explores questions of identity, sexuality and belonging. Her literary breakthrough in Norway came with the publication of Kjærlighet (Love), in 2006, which was voted the sixth best Norwegian book of the last 25 years in a prestigious contest in Dagbladet. Since then she has written several acclaimed and much discussed novels and received a host of literary prizes. In June 2014, Periene Press published the first ever English translation of one of her novels, The Blue Room, as part of their coming of age series.

Kati Hiekkapelto is a bestselling author, punk singer, performance artist and special-needs teacher. She lives on an old farm on the island of Hailuoto in Northern Finland with her children and sizeable menagerie. Hiekkapelto has taught immigrants and lived in the Hungarian region of Serbia, which inspired her to write her highly regarded debut crime novel, The Hummingbird (Arcadia Books). The series also includes The Defenceless (Orenda Books), shortlisted for the Glass Key and winner of Best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year and most recently The Exiled (Orenda Books). All three of her books have been shortlisted for the Petrona Award.

Jussi Valtonen is an author and psychologist from Helsinki. He studied neuropsychology in the United States and screenwriting in the UK. His previous works include two novels and a short story collection. His novel, They Know Not What They Do, was a critical and popular success in Finland, and is now forthcoming with One World.

This talk will be chaired by Hephzibah Anderson.

Part of Nordic Matters

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side


Included in Pass
£20, £35

need to know

This event is included in both the World on the Brink Sunday Pass and the World on the Brink Weekend Pass.