Kari Hotakainen: Trench Road

A prize-winning story about pain, a house, and a relentless desire to fulfil a dream.

Author: Kari Hotakainen
Finnish original: Juoksuhaudantie
Publisher: WSOY, 2002
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: 334 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original; French translation, German translation, Italian translation

Rights sold: Czech Republic, Dybbuk; Denmark, Gyldendal; Dutch, Rode Kamer; Estonia, Tänapäev; France, J. C. Lattès; Georgia, Siesta; Germany, Piper; Hungary, Kalevala; Iceland, Mál og menning; Italy, Iperborea; Japan, Shinhyoron; Latvia, Dienas Gramata; Lithuania, Vaga; Mari, V. Analov; Norway, Cappelen Damm; South Korea, Chaek i choun saram; Russia, Azbooka; Slovenia, KUD Sodobnost International; Spain, Meettok; Sweden, MånPocket

The life of Matti Virtanen is changed by a single strike, after which his wife and daughter leave him.

Belonging to a generation of men who have proven their commitment to equality by doing their fair share of household, cooking and childcare tasks, losing the family breaks the spine of Matti’s existence. He feels he needs to gain his family back to gain back also his role in life.

To succeed, Matti starts fulfilling his wife’s dream of a house. His obsession drives him to excesses, and soon there is no turning back.

Trench Road was awarded Finland’s biggest literary award Finlandia and the Nordic Council Prize for Literature. It is a modern epos, which registers everyday phenomena with preciseness and sarcasm in a contemporary tone. In all his works, Hotakainen describes the misery of modern life sympathetically and with inverted verbal humor but also with melancholy.

Also available:
Story (2020)
Lifeline (2015)
The Word of God (2011)
The Human Part (2009)

About the author:
Kari Hotakainen