Finnish North American Literature Association
Teppo Turen was born in Finland. During the Russian invasion, he served as
executive officer and battery commander in the Finnish ski troops. He attended the
Finnish military academy and did graduate work at the University of Helsinki.
Since leaving Finland (on the journey which is chronicled in the book), Turen has
worked for United Fruit, Esso Standard Oil, Texaco, and Combined Insurance
Company of America. Upon emigration from Finland, he lived in the Dominican
Republic and eventually in the US in Chicago, Illinois.
Tuntsa with Elizabeth Maddox McCabe. Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Company,
This book recounts the flight of Teppo Turen, his wife and several of his
countrymen from Finland following the Winter War. They departed in a boat slightly
more than thirty feet long and sailed down the European coast and along the coast
of Africa to Las Palmas, where they veered westward to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
On the way, they struggled with problems caused by a drunken navigator, corrupt
officials, and their illegal status in addition to the small size of their craft and their
lack of sailing experience. Eventually, they ran aground on White Horse Reef in the
Americas, trying to enter to US at Puerto Rico, but they made their way to the
Dominican Republic where they began a new life.
The story is engaging and well written, sometimes frightening and always