Marjo Niemi: The Run

A beautiful novel about an encounter between two lonely people,
about carrying and being carried.

Author: Marjo Niemi
Finnish original: Juostu maa
Publisher: Teos, 2004
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: 188 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample

Syksy is ten years of age. She lives in a small industrial village, and she runs.

Syksy runs because she is diferent. She is an outsider in her family, the silent witness of her mother and father’s quarrels and tears. She observers her family, the village community, herself too. And she runs.

In the rhythm of her running Syksy tells the story of herself, her granny, her school, and loneliness. She needs the rhythm of running to be able to stand the stories.

Kalevi is a lonely former runner with his own past to carry. When he hooks up with Syksy and starts to train her, the truth starts to come out.

The Run is a lyric, superbly beautiful novel of loneliness, carrying and being carried. It was awarded with the Tiiliskivi Prize.

“A powerful debut. […] Towards the end the work grows into a tremendously beautiful encounter of an older man disappointed with himself and a withdrawn young girl, during which both are forced to admit their need, which reaches beyond generations.”
–Aamulehti newspaper

“A rushing, almost poetic rythm of sentences carries observations made by a most precise narrator. You can read twice only novels written this way.”
–Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Also available:
Hearing (2021)
The Mother of All Losses (2017)
Cannibal’s Friendship  (2012)
Why the Light? (2008)

About the author:
Marjo Niemi