Monika Fagerholm was born in 1961 and belongs to the Swedish-speaking community in Finland. Her much praised first novel, Wonderful Women by the Sea, became one of the most widely translated Scandinavian literary novels of the mid-1990s. Two years later, it was made into a motion picture. In 1998, it was followed by the cult novel Diva, which won The Swedish Literature Society Award and Nyland's Art Award. Her third novel, The American Girl, became a number one bestseller and won the premier literary award in Sweden, The August Prize, as well as The Aniara Prize and The Gothenburg Post Award.