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    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

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True

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True Cover

ISBN13: 9781590515006
ISBN10: 1590515005
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Elsa is dying. Her husband, Martti, and daughter Eleonoora are struggling to accept the crushing thought that they are soon to lose her. As Elsa becomes ever more fragile, Eleonoora’s childhood memories are slipping away. Meanwhile, Eleonoora’s daughter Anna spends her time pondering the fates of passersby. For her the world is full of stories. But the story that will change her forever is the one about Eeva, her mother’s nanny, whom her grandparents have been silent about for years. Eeva’s forgotten story, which Anna first learns of when she discovers an old dress of Eeva’s, is finally revealed layer by layer. The tale that unfolds is about a mother and daughter, about how memory can deceive us — and sometimes that is the most merciful thing that can happen.

Review:

"In Pulkkinen's second novel, her first to be translated into English, the Finnish author tells the story of Elsa, a well-known child psychologist; her husband, Martti, a painter; their doctor daughter Elenoora; and Anna and Maria, their 20-something granddaughters. All have assembled around Elsa as she succumbs to cancer. Anna and her grandmother have always been kindred spirits, often playing dress up and picnicking in the park, and it's Anna's choice of outfit for one of these outings that opens a window into a forgotten chapter of Martti and Elsa's past. The frock that Anna plucks from the closet belongs not to Elsa but to Eeva, Elenoora's former nanny, with whom Martti had an ongoing affair during Elsa's scholarly trips. While Anna obsesses over her grandparents' past, seeing in it an alternate life that she so longs for, having to face her father's betrayal makes Elenoora question everything. Pulkkinen has a fine eye for description and infuses her characters with longing, but the story is familiar: desire for a different life than the one we've chosen. An eloquent family saga that falls short of revelation. Agent: Hanna Kjelberg, Otava Group Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"A beautiful, sensuous novel." Library Journal

Review:

"Pulkkinen spins variations of [the] theme of transformative identity, having characters periodically relate to one another as if they were improv artists." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Secrets, long hidden, are revealed through alternating voices from her family's present and past in this poignant work of fiction." Barnes & Nobel Book Review

About the Author

Riikka Pulkkinen studied literature and philosophy at the University of Helsinki. Her debut novel, The Border, sparked international interest when it was published in 2006. Her second novel, True, will mark her English debut. Riikka Pulkkinen received the Kaarle Prize in February 2007 and the Laila Hirvisaari Prize in May 2007.

Lola M. Rogers is a freelance translator of Finnish literature living in Seattle. Her published translations include selected poems of Eeva Liisa Manner in the anthology Female Voices of the North, published by Praesens of Vienna; the graphic novel The Sands of Sarasvati, based on Risto Isomäki’s novel of the same name, translated with Owen Witesman for Tammi of Helsinki; and Purge, by Sofi Oksanen, for Grove/Atlantic.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Rebecca Young, October 6, 2012 (view all comments by Rebecca Young)
I heard Riikka Pulkkinen herself read from this book and was blown away by the power of her prose. Just one example, "He was the kind of man you want to ask for directions to reality." The translation is very strong and does a good job of representing the author's writing in her native Finnish. I highly recommend it.
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Sari, July 13, 2012 (view all comments by Sari)
When Elsa is diagnosed with cancer, her family wonders how they will survive without her--the smart, generous, ambitious mother/wife/grandmother who once danced on a table for her birthday. As the family contents with the inevitable tragedy, granddaughter Anna discovers another more shocking loss and betrayal. She puts on what she thinks is her grandmother's dress and instead finds out it belongs to Eeve, the nanny nobody talks about.

This beautiful novel is told from alternating points of view and is written with tremendous generosity. Even as characters are making bad choices, we care about them. The prose lingers, but is never slow. This novel stayed in my mind long after I read it and I have been recommending it to everyone.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590515006
Author:
Pulkkinen, Riikka
Publisher:
Other Press (NY)
Translator:
Rogers, Lola M.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.53 x 1.08 in 0.9 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women

True Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Other Press (NY) - English 9781590515006 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Pulkkinen's second novel, her first to be translated into English, the Finnish author tells the story of Elsa, a well-known child psychologist; her husband, Martti, a painter; their doctor daughter Elenoora; and Anna and Maria, their 20-something granddaughters. All have assembled around Elsa as she succumbs to cancer. Anna and her grandmother have always been kindred spirits, often playing dress up and picnicking in the park, and it's Anna's choice of outfit for one of these outings that opens a window into a forgotten chapter of Martti and Elsa's past. The frock that Anna plucks from the closet belongs not to Elsa but to Eeva, Elenoora's former nanny, with whom Martti had an ongoing affair during Elsa's scholarly trips. While Anna obsesses over her grandparents' past, seeing in it an alternate life that she so longs for, having to face her father's betrayal makes Elenoora question everything. Pulkkinen has a fine eye for description and infuses her characters with longing, but the story is familiar: desire for a different life than the one we've chosen. An eloquent family saga that falls short of revelation. Agent: Hanna Kjelberg, Otava Group Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "A beautiful, sensuous novel."
"Review" by , "Pulkkinen spins variations of [the] theme of transformative identity, having characters periodically relate to one another as if they were improv artists."
"Review" by , "Secrets, long hidden, are revealed through alternating voices from her family's present and past in this poignant work of fiction."
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