We are proud to present critically celebrated author Markku Pääskynen’s novel Souls (Sielut, Tammi 2015), which has been nominated for the 2015 Finlandia Prize, the country’s highest literary honor. Praised for its lyrical prose and ability to depict a child’s point of view, Souls tells the story of a small-town Finnish family whose daughter unexpectedly disappears.
The winner of the Finlandia Prize will be announced on November 26th; Pääskynen is one of six authors nominated.
Contact the Agency for an English synopsis!
Praise for Souls:
“The novel is surprising and bold…although the mood is somber, the reader doesn’t feel crushed under a feeling of hopelessness and guilt…This mythical tale expands to deal with a larger question of humanity. Pääskynen’s storytelling is exceptionally skilled, and his language is spellbinding. Souls describes a world in which evil exists partially because adults want to believe in it.”
– Finlandia Prize jury, 2015
”The impressive core of Pääskynen’s novel is the idea that while we parents worry about the horrific things children have experienced, we inevitably view this horror through our own grown-up thinking.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland
”Souls opens with the disappearance of a little girl and the resulting panic, but Pääskynen isn’t writing a thriller. He writes a strongly mythical novel in which the order of events is of secondary importance. Everything that is experienced is broadened through aphoristic realizations. The lucidity and brightness of his style is downright lyrical.”
– Savon Sanomat newspaper, Finland
“Souls examines the means literature has to reveal life’s secrets…Pääskynen skillfully describes the way in which everyday life veers off course and becomes strange, how things become meaningless and how, on the other hand, small details take on new meanings…The novel’s rhythms and repetitions grab the reader’s attention, and the story moves forward through short chapters in which the reader acutely feels the parents’ anguish and panic.”
– Oma Aika magazine, Finland
Nominated for the Finlandia Prize 2006, 2015
Nominated for the Kalevi Jäntti Prize 2006
Nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize 2002
Nominated for the Savonia Prize 2002, 2005
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi