English sample & synopsis
Original title: Seksistä ja matematiikasta
Torch-bearer Prize winner 2016
Helmet Literature Prize winner 2015
Kalevi Jäntti Prize winner 2015
EU Literature Prize nominee 2016
Toisinkoinen Prize nominee 2015
Berlin-based Finnish mathematician, Erika leads a controlled, ordered life trying to purge herself of superfluous emotions and needs. Yet when the worst imaginable happens to her, her world comes crashing down and she escapes back to her homeland. Meanwhile, in Helsinki, a young man named Tuovi is looking online for love in a desperate attempt to soothe his fears when an oil tanker hits the rocks on the Baltic Sea a devastating impact, as the two lost souls find salvation in each other in unexpected ways.
Sex and Mathematics is a frighteningly intelligent and visceral novel about people in crisis, environmental disasters, about the confusing and erratic life and the beauty and logic of mathematics. And about the agonies and ecstasies of sex.
“On Sex and Mathematics is one of the finest reading experiences of the fall.”
– Helsingin Sanomat
“On Sex and Mathematics is, from the first sentence on, attractive narration, created through its characters. The author does not point fingers or preach, but lets her characters do the talking. Everything that happens, everything that’s discussed, all the narrative decisions fall into place, without any gimmicks.”
– Tuomas Kyrö, the Flame Bearer Prize Juror 2016, Finland
“Iida Rauma masters the balance of the basic ingredients of the novel form: the ability to create complex characters and to describe their emotions and experiences, the skills of keeping the story gripping and the structure fresh. Clear mathematical representation, spoken language, Ostrobothnian dialect and a disabled woman’s chatter blend seamlessly in the description of inner feelings and emotions, and form the major theme of the novel, chiming like a beautiful overtone: there is no standard human being.”
– Kalevi Jäntti Prize Jury 2016