A Midsummer Night’s Dream where time travels through itself in the sun and shadows of the Finnish countryside.
Author: Aki Ollikainen
Finnish original: Pastoraali
Publisher: Siltala, 2018
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: 138 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, French translation, English sample
Rights sold: Armenia, Guitank; France, Héloïse d’Ormesson; Hungary, Polar; Poland, ArtRage
One summer day, one summer night. Two young people fall in love, an older couple is unhappy, two even older ones have found a beautiful peace together.
The summer is bright and warm, but not without contrasts. Dark clouds appear in the blue sky, a huge wolf lurks in the shadows, and mocking ravens perch on branches. When the morning comes, death has rampaged through the idyll.
The long-awaited third novel by Aki Ollikainen presents the reader with a pastoral idyll and a midsummer night’s dream, but with cruel and unpredictable shades.
“Ollikainen’s praised first novel White Hunger was a stunning union of vision and expression. The debut’s natural sense of rhythm and beauty, as if given by God, is strongly present in A Pastoral’s depictions of nature. […] Of a very few authors one can serenely state: he is capable of writing whatever he wants.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper
“A beautiful literary pamphlet that doesn’t explain but shows. […] Ollikainen masters different styles assuredly. […] Pastoral is a hair-raising, tingling dance on autumn misty graves.”
– Suomen Kuvalehti magazine
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