My Friend Natalia

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Teos (orig.)

ESTONIA: Rahva Raamat AS

FRANCE: Gallimard

GERMANY: DTV

HUNGARY: Scolar Kiado

ITALY: Elliot Edizioni

LITHUANIA: BALTO

NETHERLANDS & BELGIUM: De Bezige Bij

NORWAY: Oktober

ROMANIA: HUMANITAS S.A

SWEDEN: Norstedts

USA: W.W. Norton / Liveright

Original title: Ystäväni Natalia

Author: Laura Lindstedt

Published: 2019

Publisher: Teos

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 240

Reading material

Finnish manuscript
English synopsis
English sample

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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.


Praise:

"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

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Foreign covers

Laura Lindstedt

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 12 territories.

Bibliography


Laura Lindstedt

My Friend Natalia

2019, Literary Fiction


Laura Lindstedt

Oneiron

2015, Literary Fiction


Laura Lindstedt

Scissors

2007, Literary Fiction


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