Anu Kaaja: The Ribbon Bow

An aesthetically generous, hedonistically ponderous and deliciously pink novel.

Author: Anu Kaaja
Finnish original: Rusetti
Publisher: S&S, 2023
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: 254 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample
English synopsis

A writer is looking for intellectual, physical and spiritual enjoyment in European cities in the spirit of a contemporary Grand Tour. She sits in cafés, dances in clubs, goes to meet paintings, converses with objects. Cascading rows of rococo bows and her lovers’ pierced faces offer her frissons of delight. 

The Ribbon Bow is like a collage with hot, enthralling renaissance boys, experiences of art, infatuation and mending of broken hearts. Bows and their meanings are tied together and untied. 

Anu Kaaja’s fourth book is a sensual and analytical novel, a profound and playful paean to beauty and melancholy, a work that does not distinguish between a fetish club and an art museum. It is a an inspired portrait of objectifying people and anthropomorphising objects. The Ribbon Bow is like a sweet wrapped in a critique of capitalism, one that not only looks at pictures but also through them. 

“The Ribbon Bow is a collage of a novel that offers its readers aesthetic pleasure.”
–Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

About the author:
Anu Kaaja