Marisha Rasi-Koskinen: The Map of Going Astray

“There are so many ways things can go wrong that one of them has to be right.”

Author: Marisha Rasi-Koskinen
Finnish original: Eksymisen ja unohtamisen kirja
Publisher: WSOY, 2017
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages:  253 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, German translation

Rights sold: Galego, Meettok; Spanish, Meettok

Julia is going on a trip. Her father and mother call it a vacation, but there’s something odd about the fact that they always have to sneak out and be on their way before the sun rises and then drive from day to day with almost no stops. As it turns out, there’s no going home from these excursions.

Meanwhile, Jan is more interested in numbers and maps than he is in people. He is sent to camp in Lapland to make friends, but a wilderness hike there with his camp-mates turns into a struggle to stay alive.

Julia’s and Jan’s stories are woven together by a strand of mystery that leads the reader through chronologies and shifting perspectives, calling the logic of the world into question. Something seems to be drawing the book’s wandering protagonists toward each other and an enigmatic house Julia catches glimpses of in her dreams.

The Map of Going Astray is a story about lost young people whose lives have been derailed from a sense of belonging and ordinariness. In order to survive, they must make choices between remembering and forgetting, and the focal point becomes time and its relentless advance.

“Rasi-Koskinen injects real momentum into her stories. […] The plot is a rip-roaring ride without any need for thriller or crime-novel clichés. […] The characters and story are powerfully drawn against an ethereal background.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

“The Map of Going Astray is a meta-universe. If the traditional thinking has been that there are three spatial dimensions (length, width, and height), in The Map of Going Astray we peer through a time portal into a fourth dimension, where we find a portal to the next dimension, and so on – for how long, no one knows. […] The Map of Going Astray is controlled in its idiom; words frequently land with gravity greater than their weight. […] Throughout The Map of Going Astray, the fingers of reality and unreality knit together.”
– Reader, Why Did I Marry Him literature blog

Also available:
REC (2020)

About the author:
Marisha Rasi-Koskinen