The Logbook of Love

Elina Hirvonen

Original title: Rakkauksien lokikirja

Author: Elina Hirvonen

Published: 2023

Publisher: WSOY

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 250

Reading material:

English sample and overview

What’s love all about? In Elina Hirvonen´s new novel, The Logbook of Love, conversations about love form a sea of connections among people from wildly different backgrounds and places.

What’s love all about?

When Elina Hirvonen’s literary debut When I Forgot (Tin House/Portobello Books) was published in English, it made the cover of the New York Times Book Review in 2009 – extremely rare for a first novel in translation. Fast forward to 2023, and the award-winning author and filmmaker’s newest novel Rakkauksien lokikirja (“The Logbook of Love”) has been published in Finnish to rave reviews.

The first in a trilogy, The Logbook of Love takes readers on a compelling journey into the restorative powers of love from Finland to Zambia, Iraq, Afghanistan and points further afield.

In Helsinki, a city silenced by the global pandemic, the narrator tries to ward off the darkness as she walks through the empty streets by gathering people’s stories of love. Searching for meaning, hope and joy, she meets with friends and strangers, moves between the past and present, shifts from country to country. Everywhere she goes, she talks with others about love: romantic love, the love for justice and human rights, marital love, parental love, the love that can bind friends from different cultures and backgrounds – and the love that, no matter how powerful it is, sometimes fails to bridge the gaps between people.

That fall I began to fear my growing sense of depression would take away my ability to find meaning and I would no longer be able to write. For if I lose written words, what will I be left with? As I search for something that feels important, the word ‘love’ comes to mind. Could I ward off my dark thoughts by writing about love in all of its forms? What are all the things that love could be in this world? As darkness falls, I search for light by opening the file I’ve saved as ‘The Logbook of Love.’”

“From one of Finland’s most talented writers comes a beautiful, compelling and evocative novel about the universal power of love in its many diverse forms and voices, taking readers from Finland to Iraq, Malawi, Morocco, Spain, Zambia and points further afield.”

—Katja Pantzar, author of The Finnish Way, TarcherPerigee, Penguin Random House

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About author

Elina Hirvonen

Elina Hirvonen is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker whose works have been translated into many languages. Hirvonen’s debut novel, When I Forgot, made the front page of The New York Times Book Review, and received rave reviews from the Independent, Guardian, Financial Times and Globe and Mail.

Hirvonen has won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize, the Young Aleksis Prize, has been nominated for the prestigious Finlandia Prize. She has received the prestigious 2023 Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö Literary Foundation Award, recognizing the artistic independence and high standard of her writing.

Her new novel, The Logbook of Love, was published in Finland in August 2023. The Logbook of Love is the first part of a trilogy of novels that create their world through conversations.


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