Carried by Wings

Reading material

Finnish edition

Original title: Siipien kantamat

Published: 2007

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 222


Bonnier Novel Competition 2007, second place

Juhani teaches Finnish and literature in a high school. He has just divorced from his wife Hanna, when a new student enrolls in the school. Marianne is young, beautiful, clever – and 17.

They start talking about books and movies, just like a teacher and his pet might. When Marianne shows him her short stories, they start meeting up outside of school hours. Juhani realizes soon that there is something more serious between them.

The novel is a beautiful and surprising story about falling in love. It is full of intertextuality and of course refers in a clever and self-aware way to Nabokov, too, but takes unexpected turns. It is a psychologically sharp book for book lovers.

”Valtonen sees through things with his laser sight and shows the painfulness of the age gap that only Juhani realizes – he still cannot control his feelings. – – It is not a Lolita story, however. But the abundant literary hints and references with their many meanings stimulate the reading experience. This is a novel for literature freaks!” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Jussi Valtonen

Jussi Valtonen (b. 1974) is an author and psychologist from Helsinki. He has studied neuropsychology in the United States and screenwriting in the UK, and has also worked as a science reporter. He has written three novels and a short story collection.

Carried by Wings (Siipien kantamat, Tammi 2007) was given second place in Bonnier’s novel competition, and received a warm reception from both critics and bloggers. In 2014 Valtonen was awarded the Finlandia Prize, the country’s highest-profile literary award, for They Know Not What They Do (He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät, Tammi 2014).


Jussi Valtonen

They Know Not What They Do

2014, Literary

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