Great reviews for Love/Monster by Saara Turunen!

turunennewsSaara Turunen’s Love/Monster, the winner of the Helsingin Sanomat prize for the year’s best debut 2015, has gathered fantastic reviews in the press:

“The structure of Love/Monster is episodic but intense. Throughout the novel there are clever hooks: the structural simplicity does not mean monotony. The debut is poignantly fresh and boisterous.” – Savon Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“Another excellent asset is Turunen’s skillful use of the language. It’s unusual, but not hard to understand, rather cheerfully original.” – Suomen Kuvalehti magazine, Finland

“The 400+ page coming-of-age story touches and amuses anyone who has ever had relatives or parents or wallowed in their own insecurity, the way we tend to do these days.” – Nyt newspaper, Finland

“Turunen’s sentences are short and rhythmic. – – Like her plays, also her novel is unashamed. She dives headfirst into fantasies and dreams and comments on the suffocating roles set for women.” – Sylvi magazine, Finland

“Turunen is a master of extracting the meaningful essence from common things.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“Saara Turunen has created an Odyssey that feels updated, smartly localized, and told from a female perspective.” – Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize jury 2015, Finland

Love/Monster is a novel about a young woman who is finding her own place in the world by constantly changing the scenery. Instead of answers, the only thing she finds is her own shadow, the feeling of worthlessness and the inability to love herself. The novel is a kind of a self-portrait of an artist, expanding into an exploration of cultural identity, gender roles and the demand of being “normal”. The narrative voice is often playful and amusing, as the novel tackles big themes with the aid of humor.

Saara Turunen (b. 1981) is an author, playwright, and director. Her plays, the most recent being The Phantom of Normality (Tavallisuuden aave), have garnered brilliant reviews and been translated into 12 languages and performed in several countries. At the moment her play Broken Heart Story is being performed in Barcelona, Spain. Turunen is known for her bold and direct style, and much of her work examines the themes of art, gender identity and femininity.

English sample & synopsis
Finnish edition


Saara Turunen

Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed award-winning author, playwright and director. She is known for her bold and direct style and much of her work examines the themes of identity and social norms. Her forthcoming novel Irrational Things (Spring 2021) is a story of love, death and life between two countries.

Turunen has previously authored two highly acclaimed novels, Love/Monster 2015 and The Bystander 2018. Her debut novel Love/Monster won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015. In addition to her work as a novelist, Turunen is also known for her plays. They have been translated into 13 languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was granted with the Finland Prize in 2016, a high profile award given by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and with the City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award in 2018.


Saara Turunen


2015, Literary

Saara Turunen

The Bystander

2018, Literary

Saara Turunen

Irrational Things

2021, Literary

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