We are extremely happy, as today is the US publication day for one of Finland’s most dynamic novelists, Laura Lindstedt, who bursts onto the American literary scene with her novel My Friend Natalia – an erotic story of an ambitious therapist’s sessions with an unforgettable patient. The novel is published by prestigious W.W. Norton / Liveright, and translated by award-winning David Hackston.
“My Friend Natalia” has already received amazing pre-reviews, and is selected by Entertainment Weekly as the Best Book of the Month in March 2021.
“Throughout the novel, Natalia riffs on Sartre, Beauvoir, and others,baiting the psychologist with sexually charged critiques of patriarchal philosophy.” – Publishers Weekly
“Lindstedt’s novel reads like the love child of a pornographer and a high theorist: Derrida meets Anaïs Nin. Ultimately, this is as much a novel about language as it is about sexuality or psychology, and translator Hackston has performed a virtuosic task capturing the Finnish pyrotechnics in English.” – Kirkus Reviews
“This provocative Finnish author enters the fray of American literature (thanks to translation from David Hackston) with a racy, wonderfully weird novel about a therapist’s sessions with a sex-obsessed woman.” – Seija Rankin, Entertainment Weekly, ‘Best New Books of March’
“I was tremendously impressed by My Friend Natalia. . . . Laura Lindstedt has a very Finnish take on sophistication (downbeat, deadpan), is disconcerting, dissonant, peerless in deferred resolution, a blithe dissolver of the regular association of ideas. Why did I not use lockdown to learn Finnish? Why?”
– Helen DeWitt, author of The Last Samurai
“Smart, dark, funny, and weirdly exhilarating, Laura Lindstedt’s My Friend Natalia is both pitched on the brink and absolutely alive. An absorbing discourse of sex, power, and boundaries, in sentences that lift like music.”
– Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World
MY FRIEND NATALIA
by Laura Lindstedt
Natalia cannot stop thinking about sex. A mesmerizing tale of one woman’s potent affliction by award-winning Finnish writer Laura Lindstedt. Narrated by an unnamed, ungendered therapist who leaps at the chance to employ their most experimental methods, My Friend Natalia offers a gripping examination of the power dynamics always present but rarely ever spoken about in therapy. “Something flared within me,” the therapist notes, “and it wasn’t merely sympathy, the emotion I feel for most of my clients. It was more like a sudden experience of harmony, wholly inappropriate given the circumstances.”
Laura Lindstedt (b. 1976) became a critical darling with her adoption-themed debut novel Scissors (Sakset, Teos 2007), which earned her a nomination for the Finlandia Prize, the country’s most prestigious literary honour. She is currently revising her Ph.D. thesis on French author Nathalie Sarraute. Lindstedt’s second novel Oneiron (Teos 2015) is a work of speculative fiction that takes place in the mysterious moments that follow one’s death. Oneiron has continued Lindstedt’s critical success, earning her the coveted 2015 Finlandia Prize. Lindstedt’s latest novel My Friend Natalia has been a critical success and the rights have been sold to 13 territories.
FINLAND: Teos (orig.)
ESTONIA: Rahva Raamat AS
HUNGARY: Scolar Kiado
ITALY: Elliot Edizioni
NETHERLANDS & BELGIUM: De Bezige Bij
ROMANIA: HUMANITAS S.A
USA: W.W. Norton / Liveright