In 1944, the renowned Finland-Swedish novelist Sally Salminen has the short story 'Kommer Far hjem til jul?' (Is Daddy coming home for Christmas?) published in the magazine Juleroser (Christmas Roses). Salminen had shot to fame after winning a Finnish-Swedish literary prize in 1936 for her novel Katrina. Her celebrity status was perhaps not only because of the quality and wide appeal of the novel, but also because she wrote it quite unusually while working as a house maid in New York.
Salminen she came from a big family and grew up with many brothers and sisters. She herself had a foster child. She writes about motherhood and war also in two other short stories: 'Et Barn er fodt os (1941) (A Child is Born to Us), and 'Trollet' (1944) (The Troll), and she pictures childhood and the perspective of the child in the novels Lars Laurila and Barndomens land (The Land of Childhood), as well as in the memoir Upptäcktsresan (1966) (The Trip of Discovery).
Permission has kindly been granted for publication in both Danish and English by Sally’s descendants who own the rights to her work. The English translation is by Paul Larkin. Listen the original Danish version by clicking here.
The story is read out by Anna Kristensen and the podcast is produced by Nicola Witcombe.
You can read the story in English or Danish by clicking here.
Sound effects from freesound.org, including 7-14-Crying (14FSmitakovaK, CC BY-NC 3.0) and Fire In Woodburning Stove (Benboncan, CC BY 3.0).