Linda Jämsén is an American expat writer-musician living in Helsinki. She was born in New York City and raised Upstate, where The Diary of A Young Girl was required sixth-grade reading. Anne Frank’s moving story inspired Linda to begin journaling, a practice that continues to this day. She studied creative writing at Bard College, where she received a B.A. in Music (piano performance), and later was awarded a graduate diploma in Management from Radcliffe Seminars/Harvard University.
In 2001, Linda left Boston for Budapest, where she received her CELTA at International House and taught English for the next two years. A series of cultural clashes, travels to exotic locales, and experiences as a singer with the Budapest Academic Choral Society led her to write ODYSSEY OF LOVE: A Memoir of Seeking and Finding. One chapter of ODYSSEY won Honorable Mention in a Writer’s Digest Competition; others have appeared in the Helsinki Times.
Linda also writes fables that capture the magic of the Finnish countryside and essays that reveal her soft spot for those struggling against adverse situations. She continues to sing with different choruses in Helsinki and has performed in Hungary, the UK, and Israel.
In a former life, Linda worked as a Development Director in the non-profit sector and raised considerable funds for causes close to her heart, including homeless Skid Row artists, people living with HIV/AIDS, and at-risk elders. More recently, she has organized concerts in Helsinki to support refugee musicians from the Middle East.
Photos by Milka Alanen.