Sillanpää, Frans Eemil (fräns āˈmĭl sĭlˈlänpăˌ) [key], 1888–1964, Finnish novelist. As a young man Sillanpää studied natural science at Helsinki and came under the influence of an artistic circle that included the composer Sibelius. He soon won acclaim with his short stories and his first novel, Life and Sun (1916). Meek Heritage (1919, tr. 1938) won him recognition as Finland's foremost writer; it described the period of the Finnish civil war of 1917 with sympathy and realism. Fallen Asleep while Young (1931; tr. The Maid Silja, 1933) treats the conflicts of the same era caused by the disintegration of older values. His People in a Summer Night (1934, tr. 1966) concerns the mysteries of nature. Sillanpää was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Literature.