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Kari Hotakainen (b.1957) is undisputedly one of the most renowned current Finnish authors. He started out as a poet and children's author before publishing several award-winning novels, e.g. Juoksuhaudantie (The Trench Street), which won the prestigious Finlandia Prize in 2002 and the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize in 2004. The play Punahukka (Border Crossing) won the Nordic Drama Award 2006 presented by the Nordic Theatre Union. Hotakainen has written several children’s plays, radio plays, columns, and an award-winning TV series. Theatres have seen the adaptations of two of his novels Sydänkohtauksia (Heart Attacks, dramatisation by Sirkku Peltola) and Bronks (dramatisation by Juha Lehtola). In 1999, the world premiere of the musical play for children Hukassa on hyvä paikka written by Hotakainen took place at the Helsinki City Theatre. This play has been translated into Swedish and German.
Kari Hotakainen graduated with a BA from the University of Helsinki in 1980 and worked as a journalist and copywriter before his career as a freelance writer.