A Wooden Prayer by Antti Hurskainen has now been sold to Denmark, marking the 2nd foreign territory for this title, which has received four literary prize nominations over the last few months.
Fantastic news for our fiction list: A Wooden Prayer by Antti Hurskainen is travelling to Denmark, where it will be published by Jensen & Dalgaard.
A Wooden Prayer by Antti Hurskainen has received extensive attention domestically, with four literary prize nominations and praising reviews. The book was a Finlandia Prize nominee, and a Torch-bearer Prize nominee this autumn, and it is still running for both the Runeberg Prize and the Savonia Award. The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper has reviewed it as an“intellectually stimulating novel glows with negativity. […] A Wooden Prayer is a harsh novel that has little regard for curling into an armchair.”
The novel has already travelled to Hungary, where it will be published by Polar.
A Wooden Prayer follows Turtola, the verger in a small congregation in the countryside. He spends his days sawing wood, raking the churchyard, praying, and taking his five-year-old daughter Monika to the nursery. Sirén, the vicar, is getting more and more dependent on alcohol whilst trying to write his doctorate and tolerate God’s silence. The two have topics to talk about: the director Ingmar Bergman, theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, arson in Kiihtelysvaara’s church, public displays of apology and the comedy of the grim reaper.
But then, Monika’s health takes a turn for the worse and Turtola is abruptly faced with an impossible choice. Turtola chooses mercy, and the consequences are merciless, resulting in a novel that asks big and difficult questions about ethos, life, death and religion.
Jensen & Dalgaard is a Danish independent publishing house which has rapidly become the Danish home of many highly praised and well-loved Finnish authors such as Matias Riikonen, Anu Kaaja, Leena Krohn and Pauliina Rauhala.
Warm congratulations to the author and the publisher!