Indirectly, my own interest in Finland-Swedish literature started with the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968. I had never even heard of Finland before, but Kristiina Hautala sang "Kun kello käy". (After more than 40 years, I've just now found the performance on YouTube.) The song only received one point, but the weird "äi" and "yö" sounds of Finnish entranced me. I wanted to study Finnish at university. There was no degree course. So I did Swedish instead.
However, when choosing my year abroad to improve my beginner's Swedish, I obtained the chance to spend a year at Åbo Akademi. I'd never heard of that institution, but I got a place for a year. I believe I was the first of several to do their year abroad from the University of East Anglia, at Åbo Akademi.
As I rode on the bus from the harbour into Åbo centre for the first time, I saw that the street names were in two languages: Finnish and Swedish. This triggered an enormously naïve thought, for which I have been doing penance for several decades. The thought was: "how nice of the Finns to add the street names in Swedish for the tourists". No one at my English university, UEA, had sufficiently explained the historical complexities of the Finnish and Swedish languages in Finland.
Decades later, I know a lot more, not only about the language situation in Finland, but the fact that Swedish has been, for a long time, the language in which important works of literature have been written, in the south of Finland including the capital, in Ostrobothnia, in and around Åbo, and on the Åland archipelago.
So I sincerely believe that the literature written in Finland in the Swedish language is as varied and interesting as that written in Sweden. The history of these two countries overlaps a lot - but so does that of Russia and Finland. Finland really is one of those paradoxical, complex and contradictory border states where East meets West. And the literature of the country, whether written in Finnish or Swedish, is proof of this. No names of authors here - there are so many.
For me, and for several other British and American translators of Finland-Swedish literature, this literature lives. The more Finland-Swedish literature that is introduced or translated on the "Nordic Voices in Translation" blog and elsewhere, the better.