Oneiron

Oneiron

by Laura Lindstedt
Translated by Owen F. Witesman
Published by Oneworld.
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WINNER OF THE FINLANDIA PRIZE

From the publisher:

Seven women meet in a white, undefined space seconds after their deaths.

Time, as we understand it, has ceased to exist, and all bodily sensations have disappeared. None of the women can remember what happened to them, where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know each other. In turn they try to remember, to piece together the fragments of their lives, their identities, their lost loves, and to pinpoint the moment they left their former lives behind.

Deftly playing with genres from essay to poetry, Oneiron is an astonishing work that explores the question of what follows death and delves deep into the lives and experiences of seven unforgettable women.

Laura Lindstedt (b. 1976) burst onto the Finnish literary scene in 2007 with her debut novel Scissors, which earned her a nomination for the Finlandia Prize, the country’s most prestigious literary honour. Lindstedt’s second novel Oneiron has continued Lindstedt’s critical success, earning her the 2015 Finlandia Prize. She lives in Helsinki.

Praise

‘This book is stunning, phenomenal, wow.’

– Cecelia Ahern, author of P.S. I Love You

‘Incredibly audacious.’

– Chicago Review of Books Most Anticipated Fiction Books of 2018

‘Reflective and full of depth, Finnish author Laura Lindstedt blends in elements of other genres such as poetry and essay to wrestle with some of life’s most difficult questions.’

– World Literature Today

‘Super-readable, but buckle up – things get a bit Black Mirror at times.’

– Cosmopolitan

Oneiron seems to rise effortlessly to the best of international literature.’

– Finlandia Prize Jury

‘In the sheer diversity of her characters, Lindstedt might be responding to other modern realities: genetic interconnections revealed by DNA tests; global migration and interdependence; the random array of newspaper obituaries that follow a terrorist attack; and the boundary-breaking and community-building properties of social media, two years before the rise of the #MeToo movement.’

– Public Books

Sisterland

Sisterland

by Salla Simukka
Translated by Owen F. Witesman
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers.
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Fall under the spell of this contemporary fairy tale that’s perfect for fans of Emily Winfield Martin’s Snow & Rose and the Chronicles of Narnia series.

Alice thought it was unusual to see a dragonfly in the middle of winter. But she followed it until she fell down-down-down, and woke up in a world unlike any other.

Welcome to Sisterland, a fantastical world where it is always summer. The most enchanting magic of all, though, is Alice’s new friend Marissa. But as the girls explore the strange land, they learn Sisterland’s endless summer comes at a price. Back on Earth, their homes are freezing over. To save their families, Alice and Marissa must outwit the powerful Queen Lili. But the deeper they go into Sisterland, the less Alice and Marissa remember about their homes, their lives before, and what they are fighting for.

This is a wondrous tale about heroism, loyalty, and friendship from one of the most celebrated Finnish children’s authors, Salla Simukka.

An excerpt is available from the publisher’s website.

Praise:

“While a few readers may wish for longer pauses in this Odyssey-paced journey, most will delight in the wondrous details and flexible metaphors.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A girl-centered hero’s journey, at once princess-free and enchanting.” Kirkus

“A humorous, delightfully sweet tale of magic and sisterhood.” Booklist

“The enchanting writing contains rich descriptions and similes, and will be accessible to reluctant readers. -School Library Journal

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town coverSecret Passages in a Hillside Town

by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen
translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers
Pushkin Press

by the author of The Rabbit Back Literature Society

A melancholy and forgetful middle-aged publisher reconnects online with his first love from childhood, who is now a bestselling author and cinematic self-help guru, and their rekindled relationship brings back lost memories of the wonderful and sometimes terrifying adventures they had as children on excursions into the secret passages beneath their small Finnish town.

Filled with dreams, magic, and unexpected twists, the new adventure they share takes on the gloss and drama of classic films as their story turns dark, romantic, and dangerous.

Reviews of Secret Passages in a Hillside Town:

“Gloriously strange, witty and disturbing… A tremendous, haunting book, full of bitter pain and starry-eyed wonder.” – SFX (5 stars)

“Jääskeläinen deftly channels the tropes of the big screen—from saturated colors and chiaroscuro to stolen lines and melodramatic scenes, he stages the glittering affair doomed by the secrets of that fateful summer, the mystery of Karri’s disappearance, and the truth about what happened in the secret tunnels. A beguiling, unexpected blend of whimsical romance and suspenseful noir.” – Kirkus

“This mysterious, idiosyncratic tale exerts an unexpected pull… surreal, sinister, and more than a little cinematic.” – The Mail on Sunday

“Strange and beguiling, luring its readers in with quirkiness and charm only to beckon them towards more sinister depths.” – Glasgow Herald

“Such a welcome change, a beautifully written, atmospheric love story with a twist… Randomly funny, ultimately quite dark, very very clever, Secret Passages in a Hillside Town is a literary delight.” – Liz Loves Books blog

My Cat Yugoslavia

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My Cat Yugoslavia

by Pajtim Statovci (original title: Kissani Jugoslavia)
Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston
Published by Pantheon, April 2017

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Read an extract

Listen to an interview with Pajtim Statovci and David Hackston

From the publisher:

“A love story set in two countries and in two radically different moments in time, bringing together a young man, his mother, a boa constrictor, and one capricious cat.

In 1980s Yugoslavia, a young Muslim girl is married off to a man she hardly knows, and what was meant to be a happy match quickly goes wrong. Shortly thereafter, the country is torn apart by war and she and her family flee to Finland, where her son Bekim grows up to become a social outcast—not just an immigrant in a country suspicious of foreigners but also a gay man in an unaccepting society. Aside from casual hookups, his only companion is a boa constrictor that, improbably (he is terrified of snakes), he lets roam around his apartment. 

Then one night, at a gay bar, Bekim meets a talking cat, who also moves in with him. It is this witty, charming, manipulative creature who starts Bekim on a journey back to Kosovo to confront his demons and make sense of the magical, cruel, incredible history of his family. And this, in turn, enables Bekim finally to open himself to true love—which he will find in the most unexpected place.”

Praise for My Cat Yugoslavia:

“This beautiful novel is about a great many things: a snake and a sexy, sadistic, talking cat; online cruising and Balkan weddings; the surreal mess of identity; the things that change when we change our country and the things that never change; the heartbreaking antagonism between fathers and sons; the bewilderment of love. Pajtim Statovci is a writer of brilliant originality and power, and his debut novel conveys as few books can what life feels like now.”
—Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

“Powerful. . . . Dramatic. . . . Statovci is a tremendous talent. This debut novel—a deserved winner of the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for Best First Novel in 2014—has an intensity and power that demands a second reading.”
Library Journal (Starred)

“Who would have guessed that an award for the best first novel written in Finnish would go to a book that features a talking cat, a pet boa constrictor, an Albanian arranged marriage, and a lonely gay immigrant? […]This dark debut has a daring, irrepressible spirit.”
Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic

“’My Cat Yugoslavia’ is a marvel, a remarkable achievement, and a world apart from anything you are likely to read this year.”
Téa Obreht, The New York Times

The Core of the Sun

The Core of the Sun

by Johanna Sinisalo
translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers
January 2016, from Grove/Atlantic

In Johanna Sinisalo’s alternative universe, Finland is a nanny state run amock, where prohibition was never repealed, the theories of the eugenics movement were never renounced, and alcohol and all sorts of other substances are completely banned – including chili peppers, due to their possible mind-altering and addictive properties. The heroes of the novel are Vanna, an undesirably intelligent woman who wears an empty-headed pose to stay out of the clutches of the Health Authority, and Jare, an illicit chili pepper dealer who recruits her as his assistant and helps her to search for her lost sister.

This newest novel by the internationally acclaimed author of Troll: A Love Story and The Blood of Angels is audacious satire, with a numinous soul at its core. 

Reviews of Core of the Sun:

“An impressively detailed and extremely frightening world… easily luring the reader into taking its characters, politics, and striking story to heart.” – Kirkus (starred review)

“Like the best dystopias, The Core of the Sun recasts a familiar concept into a slightly different world, in order to highlight exactly how strange our everyday beliefs are. It’s the best dystopian fiction I’ve read in a very long while.” – Paul Constant, Seattle Review of Books

“Clever and comical… it’s a thing we rarely behold in America: a feminist novel that propels you forward to its terrifying, pulpy conclusion.” – Flavorwire

“SF, fantasy, and New Weird readers will revel in the elegantly blurred lines of science and mysticism. Readers seeking a reliable, strong, female narrator won’t be disappointed. The narrator’s funny, sad, punk voice is unforgettable.” – Library Journal

“Sinisalo crafts a funny, unsettling, emotionally charged apparition of the present that’s all her own.” – Jason Heller, NPR

” A testament to the power of the human soul to escape oppression and a smirking social commentary, The Core of the Sun is one deliciously spicy package.” – Shelf Awareness (starred review)

Winner of the 2017 Prometheus Award.