Original title: Linnunaivot
Class/genre: Fantasy & S/F
Birdbrain is a skilful portrait of the unquenchable desire of Westerners for the pure and the primitive. A young Finnish couple, Jyrki and Heidi, go on the hiking trip of a lifetime in Australasia with Heart of Darkness as reading material. To Jyrki’s great surprise, his girlfriend Heidi demands to come with him, frightened by the idea of several months of solitude. The trip gradually turns into a tortuous thriller with belongings disappearing and, even more mysteriously, reappearing. The travellers come to be at the mercy of untamed nature Birdbrain describes Western people’s desperate longing for somewhere unspoilt and primitive with biting irony. At the same time, it reveals the dark side of this longing, showing it to be an insatiable desire to control, invade and destroy.. Birdbrain reveals the dark side of the explorer’s desire: the insatiable need to control, to invade and leave one’s mark on the landscape. But what happens when nature starts to fight back?
The Guardian newspaper and Publishers Weekly both included the novel on their list of recommendations.
UK, Peter Owen
France, Actes Sud