Ann-Luise Bertell

Original title: Vänd om min längtan

Author: Ann-Luise Bertell

Published: 2016

Publisher: Förlaget

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 180

Reading material:

English sample

Swedish manuscript

A story of emigration, of mothers, daughters and brothers, and what it is like to live with longing in your heart

This award-winning debut novel delves into the fate of an Ostrobothnian emigree to Canada and the longing which has planted itself in her mind.

The twilight of day is awaiting Maria Alina. The only visitors she has are dead relatives, J. R. Ewing of Dallas, and a home care nurse whose name she can’t remember. She has, however, an important task remaining: to write the story of her life for her daughter on the other side of the Atlantic. If there is one thing Maria Alina regrets in her life, it’s that she was silent when she should have spoken.

Death, sorrow, and longing have tinted Maria Alina’s life, which opens as a series of intense scenes starting in her childhood. She speaks about trips across the ocean, about staying put and forgetting, about brothers who believed they could fly, and about old women who know how to turn longing around.

A story of boundless yearning, suppressed tears, and restrained people, the novel has been inspired by the story of Bertell’s grandmother.

Ann-Luise Bertell has written a book with great insight into life and its meaning. It lacks neither linguistic elegance, dramatic strength nor events that touch deeply. On the one hand, the novel shows what lovelessness and lack of empathy can cause among us humans, and, on the other hand, how one can influence one's future through the right values and an unwavering belief in one’s own self. It is important to fight to be able to turn around your longing.

Egil Green, Östnyland, Finland

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Rights sold:
FINLAND (in swedish) & SWEDEN: Förlaget, FINLAND: (Finnish): Tammi

About author

Ann-Luise Bertell

Ann-Luise Bertell is an author and a theater director, born 1971 in Oravais, Finland. She has graduated from the Finnish Theater Academy, and debuted as a writer in 1997 with the collection of poems, 'Rus av gul', and has since written poems, short stories, a children's book, plays and two novels. Longing (Vänd om min längtan, 2016), was awarded the Yle Prize and the Choreus Prize. Her second novel Homestead (Heiman) was published in 2020 and was nominated for the Finlandia Prize, and her third novel Yearning (Glöm Bort Din Saknad) was published 2022.

Ann-Luise has been Wasa Theatre's director since 2020, but is also a mother of three, dog owner, hiker, seeker, spy and bookworm.


2022, Literary Fiction

Ann-Luise Bertell


2020, Literary Fiction

Ann-Luise Bertell


2016, Literary Fiction

Ann-Luise Bertell