Juhani Aho, originally Johannes Brofeldt, was born in Lapinlahti, Savo, in Eastern Finland in 1861. He died in Helsinki in 1921.
After attending the high school in Kuopio and studying history and literature in Helsinki, he worked as a journalist for various newspapers. Aho became one of the founders of Päivälehti, the predecessor of the biggest newspaper in Finland today, Helsingin Sanomat.
As a writer he was influenced by Ibsen, Tolstoy and Zola, he had his breakthrough with the story Rautatie (The railway) in 1884. His novels like Papin tytär (Ellis Youth, 1885), Yksin (Lonely, 1890), Papin rouva (Ellis marriage, 1893) and Juha (Severe Blood, 1911, adapted as an opera twice and filmed four times) founded the realist tradition of modern Finnish literature and were part of the so-called Young Finland-movement. His short stories, which appeared under the title Lastuja (Splinters), became extremely popular.