The Trans-Siberian Express is the backdrop for the winning novel Compartment No. 6 (or Hytti no. 6 in Finnish) for the 2011 Finlandia Prize. Author Rosa Liksom set the story during the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and the plot unfolds through reminiscences of a Finnish girl who shares a train compartment with an oft-drunk, hard-talking Russian man on the long rail journey from Moscow to Ulan Bator through Siberia.

The other four finalists are Eeva-Kaarina Aronen (for Skull-drum), Kristina Carlson (William N. Diary), Laura Gustafsson (Whore tale), Laila Hirvisaari (I, Catherine), and Jenni Linturi (For Fatherland’s Sake). In total, more than 130 novels were submitted for this year’s prize.

Liksom walked away with 30,000 euros (or around $40,000) in prize money.

Established in 1984, the Finlandia Prize is the most prestigious literary award in Finland.