Reading material

English sample & synopsis

Original title: Kerrostalo

Published: 2019

Publisher: Like

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 333


Finlandia Prize 2019 nominee

Trainspotting meets City of Gods in a suburban apartment building. Critical success and Finlandia Prize nominee in 2019.

When the high-rise was new it was the pride of the city, an example of modern living, a beacon of a brighter future. But today you won’t find happy homes, stylish decorations or successful people in this building. It has become the residence for those who struggle. In this concrete jungle, everything is connected and lives are fragmented, memories shattered by violence and substances.

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Like (orig.)

“A wonderful novel about a changing society. Hanna-Riikka Kuisma’s social criticism is makes you stop and think. ” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper


“A great book! Depressing topic, but the result is truly inspiring: this is how real writing is done. ” – Suomen Kuvalehti magazine


“With this novel Kuisma has written herself into the map of famous Finnish authors.” – Kouvolan Sanomat newspaper


“With multiple narrators, Hanna-Riikka Kuisma paints a hyperrealistic picture of a modern slum – mesmerizing the reader like the best kind of thriller. And not far from Dostoyevsky’s nightmarish and dreamy basement writings.” – Satakunnan Kansa newspaper


“Inequality in society is effectively brought to the reader’s attention without forgetting the disadvantages are passed from one generation to another. However, not everything is bleak; there is also a comforting warmth between people. ” – Keskisuomalainen newspaper


“Kuisma’s narrative strikes with an amazingly sharp sentence after another. The work gives voice for those in misery and who feel worthless – but a voice that they will never use in the polling booths nor in demonstrations. ” – Oulu Ylioppilaslehti magazine


“Gloomy, but great.” – MTV3 News


“Kuisma is an original, sharp and well-established author.” – Ylä-Kainuu newspaper


“The battle between good and evil depicted in a same whirling, exaggerated way as in Trainspotting.” – Turun Sanomat


The High-Rise is the most glorious novel. The themes that Kuisma writes about are not going to disappear from this world – quite the opposite.” – Etelä-Saimaa


“Kuisma’s novel is compelling and impressive. The author neither feels sorry nor admires the characters. That’s how she gives the reader a real experience. ” – Author’s Diary / Suomenkuvalehti.fi


“The author touches the sorrows and pains of urban misery. (…) Kuisma’s hyperrealistic approach is not far from Dostoyevsky’s nightmarish and dreamy basement writings. ” – Satakunnan Kansa newspaper


“An impressive novel.” – Savannilla blog


“A realistic suburb story mesmerizes you like the best kind of thriller, bringing out dystopian horrors. The High-Rise represents the whines like the best dude to bring out dystopian horrors.” – Rakkaudesta kirjoihin blog


”Kuisma’s stunningly sharp vision is dizzying, and even the hyperrealism is beautiful.” – Helmipöllönen blog


“A strong narrative that doesn’t let the reader put the book down before it’s finished.” – Kirjarouvan elämää blog


“Kuisma is telling a brutal story with cool efficiency, but carefully examining the darkest aspects of the human mind. (…) A powerful, scary, attentive to detail and a concise piece that brings the makes the reader sweat with discomfort, but wisely and skillfully written. ” – Kulttuuri kukoistaa Blog


”Hanna-Riikka Kuisma is one of the strongest female writers at the moment. – Kirjan vuoksi blog


“This book must be read to understand the diversity of life.” – Sanapari blog

Hanna-Riikka Kuisma

Hanna-Riikka Kuisma (b. 1978) is a writer, art critic and columnist from Pori. Her latest novel, High-Rise, was nominated for the Finlandia Prize, and was awarded the Art Prize of the Satakunta Arts Council in 2019. Block of Flats is Kuisma’s sixth novel.

Kuisma’s works explore the dark sides of modern society and the human mind. The intense atmosphere, black humor and the surgically accurate descriptions are balanced by the colorful visuals and poetic language.