FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)
CHINA: China International Radio Press
CZECH REPUBLIC: Leda
FRANCE: Editions Fayard
UNITED KINGDOM: Oneworld Publications
Original title: He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät
Author: Jussi Valtonen
Genre: Literary Fiction
A sweeping, multilayered story of family conflicts, the ethics of science and the search for identity in an impersonal society.
When professor Joe Chayefski’s neuroscience lab in Baltimore is attacked by animal rights activists, he doesn’t connect the dots at first. But when he receives a phone call from Alina, his Finnish ex-wife, he begins to gradually realize that the threats on his career and new family are connected to Samuel, the son he left behind in Finland two decades ago. Joe soon learns that his son’s life has gone badly astray, and that Samuel has devoted himself to extreme animal rights activism. Samuel is now somewhere in the United States, but neither Alina nor the authorities know his exact location. Joe realizes that he has to take action to protect his wife and two daughters from his estranged son, by any means necessary.
By depicting its three main characters in an intense struggle to understand an increasingly confusing world, They Know Not What They Do offers readers both piercing psychological acumen and a striking dystopian satire of a neuro-digitalized Western society in which nothing is private and everything is for sale.