Award-winning poet and author Riina Katajavuori‘s latest novel, The Ladies of Seven Brothers (Wenla Männistö, Tammi 2014) has quickly become one of this autumn’s most talked-about Finnish literary events.
The Ladies of Seven Brothers is a humorous, modern-day deconstruction of what is considered to be the most important novel in Finnish history: Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers (1870). Unlike Kivi, whose book focused on the seven Jukola brothers, Katajavuori’s story puts the spotlight on Kivi’s female characters. However, in spite of its many clever allusions, The Ladies of Seven Brothers doesn’t require knowledge of Kivi’s original work: it works both as a satirical portrait of Helsinki life in 2014 and a spirited family fable.
Praise for The Ladies of Seven Brothers:
“[The Ladies of Seven Brothers] is a delicious update on a classic and a delightful vision of our time…This is a landmark event in Katajavuori’s career, and a major breakthrough; she can now be counted among our nation’s great authors.“
– Helsingin sanomat newspaper, Finland
“A simultaneously wild and wise version of Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers.”
– Ilkka newspaper, Finland
“[The dialogue-driven] format is interesting and current, and Katajavuori shines in conveying different kinds of speech.”
– Savon sanomat newspaper, Finland
“[Katajavuori has given] Seven Brothers a modern-day treatment. There are drugs and teen pregnancies, band practices and TV shows about war. To my embarrassment I have to admit that I have never read Seven Brothers, so I don’t really have a basis on what happened in the original book. But I dare to say that this works better for someone like me than the original. After all, I’m a modern girl.”
– Lukutoukan kulttuuriblogi (“Bookworm’s Culture Blog”), Finland
About the book:
All the guys are crazy about 17-year-old Wenla Männistö, who is whole-heartedly enjoying her youth. Her mother is the practical but enigmatic midwife Marja Männistö. Alli Jukola, the mother of seven, contemplates the past while lounging on the edge of a cloud. We also hear from straight-talking washer Kajsa Rajamäki and Ansku Seunala, who believes in angels. All the while, the seven slacker brothers of Jukola trade bad jokes in front of the TV.
THE LADIES OF SEVEN BROTHERS (Wenla Männistö)
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
English sample available soon!