The Explorer & Other Stories

Reading material

English edition
Finnish edition

Original title: Tutkimusmatkailija ja muita tarinoita

Published: 1999

Publisher: Loki-kirjat

Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 174


Winner of the Helsingin Sanomat Debut Book of the Year Award 1999

“This sly book showcases the quietly strange, unsettling short fiction of this acclaimed Finnish writer. Vainonen is renowned for his Finnish translations of the works of Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift, and William Shakespeare. Vainonen’s first collection of short stories was awarded the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and his work has been featured in such iconic collections as the Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy. This first English-language collection includes stories from Jyrki Vainonen’s three collections and is translated by J. Robert Tupasela and Anna Volmari, with one story translated by Hildi Hawkins. Introduction by Johanna Sinisalo.”

–  Jeff VanderMeer, Cheeky Frawg

Rights sold:
FINLAND, Loki-kirjat (Orig. publisher)
THAILAND, Gamme Magie

Jyrki Vainonen

Jyrki Vainonen (b. 1963) is an award-winning Finnish author who is renowned for his Finnish translations of the works of Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift and William Shakespeare. His debut work, collection of short stories (Tutkimusmatkailija ja muita tarinoita, Loki-kirjat 1999 ) Vainonen received the Helsingin Sanomat Debut Book of the Year Award in 1999. Vainonen has lived in Ireland and wrote his licentiate thesis on Jonathan Swift’s Irish pamphlets.

“Vainonen, an award winner in his native Finland, debuts in English with seven selections from three of his previous collections, introduced by Finnish fantasy powerhouse Johanna Sinisalo. Opening with the absurd—a husband vanishes on an ill-fated expedition into his unfaithful wife’s thigh in “The Explorer”—the book then delves into questions of identity (“Blueberries”) and transformation (“The Aquarium”). Sex is mutable (“The Pearl”) and comforting truths are revealed to be false, while faint suspicions prove terribly true (“The Refrigerator”). The author shows an easy comfort with the odd and disturbing, and sympathy even with his less sympathetic protagonists. The translators have done a masterful job of presenting his work with clarity. The one shortcoming of the collection is its brevity; at a scant hundred pages it seems too short to function as a proper introduction to the author. (Oct.)”


Jyrki Vainonen

The Towers

2009, Literary

Jyrki Vainonen

At Swift’s Door

2011, Literary

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