Irrational Things

Autofictive story of love, death and life between two countries. Turunen’s funny, witty and melancholic voice examines the contradiction of sense and sensibility.

What if you are in love with a good man – a man you have always wanted to fall in love with? But what if this man lives in one country and you in another? Should you be sensible and leave the man to be free and independent? Or should you follow your heart, burn the bridges behind, and go after him?

The narrator travels to Barcelona to study theatre. After a few weeks she falls in love with a local man. Thus begins an intensive relationship that tears her between two countries and two cultures. She learns that relationships are between two individuals who have their own ways of expressing love to others and to themselves.

Turunen’s novel paints a relatable picture of relationships, breakups and the constant battle between fear and love. It is a beautiful picture of a woman growing up and trying to balance between social expectations, commitment and freedom.

The Bystander

A witty and honest artist’s novel about a year in the life of a debut author.

The Bystander is a journey of one year in a life of its writer. When the narrator’s debut novel is published, she feels like everything has changed. Strangely enough no one else seems to notice this. Thus begins an intensive year of esteemed literary prizes, ambivalent reviews, strange interview questions and awkward marketing activities. All the while the narrator ponders the meaning of it all. Why are we here? What is behind the space? What if you are lonely? And its’s spring, and you had just written a book and everything was meant to be great, but people just had their partners and high-quality sofas, and ‘we gotta go’ they said? What if you were expecting something else, but there was just silence everywhere?

* * *

The Bystander is a sharp story of a woman with a looming fear of being invisible, need to achieve, relentless chase for being heard. In addition to pointing out the problems of the art criticism and literary world itself, the novel speaks about the loneliness and being a bystander in 21st century. It asks urgent questions about identity and family, but refuses to give any simple answers.

At the same time ironic and earnest, the novel burrows into the issues of existence, social norms and unconventional choices. The text glows in the depiction of everyday details: watering the house plants, riding a bike and cooking noodles. It shifts between fiction and reality, mixing shame and self-contemptuous humour with sharp narration.

Chillingly ironic, crunching depiction of the today’s world and the female position on it. Talentedly constructed artist novel with lean and precise sentences and an autobiographical voice that turns many times into essay-like narration.

The Bystander is Saara Turunen’s second novel. Her first, Love/Monster (2015), was awarded with a prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literary prize.


Rights sold:

FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)
SWEDEN: Wahlström & Widstrand

Love/Monster

Love/Monster is a strong, unique novel about the lust for life, shame, yearning, and trying to belong somewhere. It is a self-portrait of an artist that expands into an exploration of cultural identity, gender roles, and the demand of being “normal”.

In Love/Monster a young woman is finding her own place in the world by constantly changing the scenery. Instead of answers, the only thing she finds is her own shadow, the feeling of worthlessness and the inability to love herself. The narrative voice is often playful and amusing, as the novel tackles big themes with the aid of humor.

Over 12,000 copies sold!

 


Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi

Saara Turunen

Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed award-winning author, playwright and director. She is known for her bold and direct style and much of her work examines the themes of identity and social norms. Her forthcoming novel Irrational Things (Spring 2021) is a story of love, death and life between two countries.

Turunen has previously authored two highly acclaimed novels, Love/Monster 2015 and The Bystander 2018. Her debut novel Love/Monster won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015. In addition to her work as a novelist, Turunen is also known for her plays. They have been translated into 13 languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was granted with the Finland Prize in 2016, a high profile award given by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and with the City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award in 2018.

 

Author photo (c) Ilkka Saastamoinen