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
Original title: Ystäväni Natalia
Author: Laura Lindstedt
Genre: Literary Fiction
The long-awaited new novel by Finlandia-prize winner! A bold, and brave novel about young woman’s sexuality, the power of narration, and identity.
Natalia starts to see a therapist to help solve the problems in her sex life. It is clear from the beginning that she is not going to play by the rules of the therapy. The weekly sessions combine art, philosophy, literature, childhood memories, and erotic experiences as a method of treatment, and slowly they make Natalia lose all her inhibitions. She starts to enjoy the therapy – maybe too much?
The novel takes a deconstructive approach to the self-help narratives of our time and drives the tools of autofiction into a dead end, asking what is concealed, when everything is revealed.
"A clever novel about power, sex, art and langauge." - De Volkskrant, Netherlansds
""This novel is about the subtle division of power. The one who has the words has the power. And the great storyteller in this setting is Natalia. The therapy sessions are a celebration of literature and art (think Niki de Saint Phalle, Georgia O'Keeffe, but also the tragedies of Greek mythology). Natalia plays an intellectual game about the appropriation of stories." - Het Parool, Netherlands
"When Natalia writes her experiences down at the end of the therapy, she shakes off the role of the patient or object of study permanently. She is now the writer of her own story, and what follows is a philosophical and feminist whirlwind, in which all kinds of stereotypes are shaken up for good." - De Standaard, Belgium
“I was tremendously impressed by My Friend Natalia. If the novel had a palette, it would be the grammatically-well-formed-and-yet-wtf selections of a robot with no sense of style (aka @colorschemez): rash celadon, interpolated blue grey, indentured very light purple, pecuniary cobalt blue, uppity brownish purple, autocratic faded red, unadmiring muddy green. This is recommendation by misdirection, because NO SPOILERS is the mantra. 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
“I read a galley of Laura Lindstedt's "My Friend Natalia" (the translation, obviously) yesterday and I cannot stop thinking about how masterful the craft is,” writes Marissa Higgins in her review of Finnish author Laura Lindstedt’s novel “My Friend Natalia.” “Totally original, enthralling. Totally weird. 10/10, do recommend.” - Marissa Higgins
“One of the most dynamic voices I’ve read in a long time; and I was blown away by the novel’s sly examination of power and sexuality. Laura Lindstedt is a true literary talent, and we’re honored to have her join our list!
– Gina Laquinta, Associate Editor, Liveright Publishing, W.W. Norton, USA