Reading material

English synopsis
Finnish edition

Original title: Sielut

Published: 2015

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 254


Nominated for the Finlandia Prize 2006, 2015
Nominated for the Kalevi Jäntti Prize 2006
Nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize 2002
Nominated for the Savonia Prize 2002, 2005

Souls was nominated for the 2015 Finlandia Prize, the country’s highest literary honor. Praised for its lyrical prose and ability to depict a child’s point of view, Souls tells the story of a small-town Finnish family whose daughter unexpectedly disappears.

Rights sold:
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi


“The novel is surprising and bold…although the mood is somber, the reader doesn’t feel crushed under a feeling of hopelessness and guilt…This mythical tale expands to deal with a larger question of humanity. Pääskynen’s storytelling is exceptionally skilled, and his language is spellbinding. Souls describes a world in which evil exists partially because adults want to believe in it.”
– Finlandia Prize jury, 2015

”The impressive core of Pääskynen’s novel is the idea that while we parents worry about the horrific things children have experienced, we inevitably view this horror through our own grown-up thinking.”
Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

Souls opens with the disappearance of a little girl and the resulting panic, but Pääskynen isn’t writing a thriller. He writes a strongly mythical novel in which the order of events is of secondary importance. Everything that is experienced is broadened through aphoristic realizations. The lucidity and brightness of his style is downright lyrical.”
Savon Sanomat newspaper, Finland

Souls examines the means literature has to reveal life’s secrets…Pääskynen skillfully describes the way in which everyday life veers off course and becomes strange, how things become meaningless and how, on the other hand, small details take on new meanings…The novel’s rhythms and repetitions grab the reader’s attention, and the story moves forward through short chapters in which the reader acutely feels the parents’ anguish and panic.”
Oma Aika magazine, Finland

Markku Pääskynen

Markku Pääskynen (b. 1973) has written eight books. He is a two-time nominee of the Finlandia Prize, whose novels have been praised for their sharp insight and psychological accuracy. His fourth novel The Day of Wrath was a Finlandia Prize nominee, and it also won him the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize. The Most Important Things in This World  received the Savonia Prize. He has also worked as an editor in a publishing house.


Markku Pääskynen

Book of Angels

2010, Literary