Märta Tikkanen: Manrape

A revolutionary Swedish-Finnish literary classic, dissecting gender roles, power structures and rage.

Author: Märta Tikkanen
Swedish original: Man kan inte våldtas
Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms, 1975 | 2019
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages:  190 pp.
Reading material: Swedish original, English translation

Rights sold: France, Cambourakis; Serbia, Laguna

Tova Randers is a librarian and a mother of two. On a whim, she goes to a dance restaurant to celebrate her fortieth birthday. She eats a steak, she dances with a man, she goes home with him.

The man rapes her.

Tova decides to take revenge: she will rape the man, and then give herself up to the police.

Running in parallel are her everyday life and family, and her attempts to make everything –and everyone – fit together. It is a story about nuances, about life never being black and white.

Manrape sparked a heated debate upon its publication in 1975. Once a target of threats and public hate, Tikkanen is now recognized as one of the first challengers of gender roles in Finland’s literature, and her breakthrough novel as a literary classic.

“The book constitutes almost the entire basic course of gender studies in the form of fiction. Extremely influential and more potent than a hundred technical texts on sexual violence and the structures and exercise of power.”
– Eva Kuhlefelt, Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper

Also available:
The Love Story of the Century (1978)

About the author:
Märta Tikkanen