Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Good Read

One thing I am looking forward to after this week of stress, is settling down to read good books. It is always interesting to me how the bestsellers in another country are likely to be unheard of in the States. Even English speaking countries have different bestseller lists. When Wolf Hall won the Mann Booker prize, it was not that easy to track down in Concord, NH. I did eventually buy it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Finland has a lively literary scene that I have been following. This web site, Books from Finland, has been fun to read. I recently read When I Forgot by Elina Hirvonon. It is about the effect of 9/11 in Finland and the reaction of the population of a foreign country to the US government's decision to invade Iraq.

My father recommends this book:

Sibelius: A Composer's Life and the Awakening of Finland

by Glenda Dawn Goss. He heard the author speak and was very impressed.

I am interested in reading this book Purge about Estonia. This article from the Helsingin Sanomat shows that the novel is actually not that well received in Estonia.

The popularity of Oksanen’s novel Puhdistus (”Purge”) in Finland has showed the Estonians that the difficult history of Estonia can be understood even abroad.
When Puhdistus was showered with literary prizes in Finland, the atmosphere in Estonia was like an Estonian skier had won a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Puhdistus has been translated into 26 languages.
”Sofi Oksanen is Estonia’s unofficial cultural ambassador”, said Kopli.

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