According to the jury, the novel, set in the Finnish Lapland, is “magic realism at its best” and “is exceptionally fresh in drawing its power from folk beliefs”.
“The book, full of original characters, is as entertaining as a picaresque novel, with a masterfully entwined murder mystery. The hilarious storytelling only emphasises the serious topics instead of hiding them: a human relation with nature, searching for self, the feelings of guilt and love.“
Jarkko Laine Literature Prize is given every second year to the most extraordinary and challenging fiction work published in the last three calendar years. The prize is 10,000 euros.
Jerusalem-based Carmel Publishing House will be publishing a collection of poems by Paavo Haavikko, one of the great 20th century Finnish modernists!
As stated on the publisher’s website, Carmel is an “eclectic, multi-faceted and fresh publishing house. Since its founding in 1987, its goal has been to enrich the world of Hebrew literature and culture by publishing the best of translated literature, encouraging local fiction, publishing fascinating non-fiction books that appeal to a wide audience and raising the profile of original and translated poetry.”
Paavo Haavikko (1931–2008) is considered to be one of the most significant writers in Finland’s literary cannon, and his poems have been translated into 12 languages. Last year, HLA sold Estonian rights of Haavikko’s poem collection to Eksa.
The poems will be selected and translated by enthusiastic translator Rami Saari, who also helped to draw publisher’s attention to Haavikko’s works.
Kari Hotakainen’s new novel Story was August’s #1 bestseller in Finland, with so far 20,000 sold copies.
Kari Hotakainen’s Story, published on 12th August 2020, rose expectedly to place #1 on the Finnish bestseller list. Hotakainen has a long record of hitting the top ten with his novels – not to mention his first and so far only work of nonfiction, the biography The Unknown Kimi Räikkönen, which has sold over 200,000 copies in Finland and over 100,000 abroad.
Story tells about a country, not very unlike Finland, in which the countryside has been turned into a Recreation Area and everyone lives in the City. Occupations and job descriptions have changed or disappeared altogether, no one can find their place, things have got out of control, the Decision Makers are in trouble. What matters now is who can tell the best story – and whose lives are worth telling about.
Spot on in its critique towards many phenomena of our times, Story is a wildly funny, speedy and slyly deep novel. It is unlike anything Hotakainen has written before.
Read more about the novel here and about the author here.
“One of the main observations of the novel is that everyone is pretending to be something – some of us only are better at telling stories. Story feels more catchy than Hotakainen in a while, though he fits worse than before the story of an author with a short sentence. He reforms his writing interestingly, but still stays the same. […] He makes you laugh out loud, and miraculously, the ability to bend the world with only words abides. Especially the beginning of the Story […] is powerful. […] The truth might be that if the only thing left from us is a story, only very few of us will have even a remotely interesting one.” – Hämeen Sanomat newspaper
“Story hits like a sledgehammer, tickles like a tick in the trouser leg. It makes you angry, it makes you laugh, it makes you jot down a number of short quotations about youtubers, about the prophets of the sweat, body and food, about everything becoming a story, about those who lie a personality and life to themselves.” – Apu magazine
“Kari Hotakainen’s Story is outrageously funny, but reading it you also feel angry and sad. Blaming the unemployed, the urban superficiality and the consultant twaddle – we are already living in this world.” – Maaseudun tulevaisuus newspaper
“Kari Hotakainen’s Story is a plea for the people who are ‘only’ something – only nurses, masseurs, assistants, secreteries, bus drivers, cashiers, plumbers, carpenters and cleaning women (as listed in Story). If all these ‘only’ something people would suddenly disappear, the world would stop.” – Annelin kirjoissa book blog
“Story” is humorous and in hits often the bull’s eye in its critique towards stories.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper
We are continuing our series of creative interviews with HLA authors, that help the readers to know the titles and authors even better! This month, J.P. Laitinen talks about the depths of his extraordinary, philosophical novel Fictional and of course, answers the beloved questionnaire! You can find the interview here.
Homunculus Verlag is an independent publishing house in Erlangen, Bavaria, “looking for exciting and above all unique contemporary literary voices”, as the publisher Laura Jacobi states.
The novel “in a carnavalesque spirit of Rabelais and with Don Quijote type of characters“, according to Lapin Kansa newspaper, and unequivocally dubbed by the critics as the best Finnish novel of 2019, raised an overwhelming interest among the foreign publishers and has been so far sold to Canada (World French), Denmark, Hungary and Poland, and running the third print in Finland. It also won The Kalevi Jäntti’s Literature Prizeand Tähtifantasia Literature Prize earlier this year, and is now nominated for the Jarkko Laine Literature Prize.
German publication is scheduled for Autumn 2021 / Spring 2022.
Congratulations to the author and those lucky German readers!