We are very happy to announce that THE ENCHANTMENT (orig. Lumo, Otava, August 2022) by Riikka Pulkkinen has been nominated for the Botnia Literature Prize!
The prize, worth 15 000 euros, is awarded for the seventh time in 2023, to a title with an author originating from Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland, or currently living there. The winner will be announced in October. We are also very excited that THE ENCHANTMENT will be published in English by Scribe UK.
The Botnia Literature Prize jury praised Pulkkinen’s novel saying:
“Riikka Pulkkinen’s The Enchantment introduces one to a traditional scene where a young girl is found dead, but the story is not traditionally straightforward. Its power is in the meanings one gives to girlhood and in how those meanings are suppressed under complex structures of power.
The story of the main character, told by multiple narrators, blurs into a text which is not meant to be completely clear. The identities are shifting, and they are illustrated by Pulkkinen with a playful searching, described naturally and beautifully. Even if the acts of both squeezing oneself into a role and tearing oneself apart from them are described at times even violently, the story is underlined with a deep understanding and warmth for the subject.
Pulkkinen’s novel is an autopsy of stories in a time in which the power to create your own story is ever-present, but at the same time the authority to interpret stories has scattered far and wide. The enchantment of those stories we make up is reflected in Pulkkinen’s sharp prose. The tension between the beauty and the ugliness of the book makes one shiver.”
The rights for THE ENCHANTMENT are free e.g. in Italy, France, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Nordic countries, Asian territories…
Earlier this summer the English language rights were sold to SCRIBE:
“Enchantment is a deeply thought-out, psychological novel about the ways that we present ourselves, what we let others see and what we hide away. What seems at first like it could be a simple mystery about the unexpected death of a teenage girl becomes a fascinating dismantling of a well-worn trope, in which the ensemble cast reveal their own deepest fears and failings through their projections onto the central character of Philippa, who we never quite come to know in her own right.”
– The Publisher Molly Slight at Scribe UK
Finnish praise: “One can read Riikka Pulkkinen’s novel The Enchantment as a report of why Philippa died. The book naturally tells of her as a character who existed. But she can be read also as a description of girlhood and femininity. [–] Riikka Pulkkinen is skilled at writing about friendship, love, the caring of others, and of yearning. She manages again to charm the reader, to make them think of their own youth and how events in childhood have influenced adulthood.”
–Kirjallisuustoimittaja book blog, Seppo Puttonen, former literary editor at YLE
“Riikka Pulkkinen triumphs with a metafictional novel. A novel dealing with girlhood prompts readers to ponder the power of narrative.”
– Helsingin Sanomat, Starred review
By Riikka Pulkkinen
This shiningly beautiful novel is an autopsy of girlhood and power
✓ Riikka Pulkkinen is a shining star in Finnish literature, an award-winning and bestselling author!
Philippa Laakso, aged seventeen, is found dead in her yard at home. Nothing suggests a crime, and everyone who knew her is certain she wasn’t suicidal. On the other hand, all who knew her seem to hold a differing view of her. The investigation sees them being interviewed, but behind every view and story is Philippa’s influence. She still has the people around her in a sharp grip: her friend, ex-boyfriend, teacher, neighbors.
Riikka Pulkkinen’s anticipated novel examines the power and comfort of make-believe and the thin line between love and play. Every character in the novel sees Philippa in his or her own way, as a mirror for fantasizing, anger, aspirations, comfort, and freedom, and uses their perceived image of Philippa to their own ends.
Otava, August 2022, 383 pp
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
UNITED KINGDOM: Scribe
WORLD ENGLISH: Scribe
English sample & synopsis