New From Finland

Finnish author, Johanna Sinisalo, has a new book out in translation this month. It is titled Birdbrain and is translated by David Hackston. The publishers, Peter Owen, have this to say about it:

Set in Australasia, Birdbrain is the story of a young Finnish couple who have embarked on the hiking trip of a lifetime, with Heart of Darkness as their only reading matter. Conrad’s dark odyssey turns out to be a prescient choice as their trip turns into a tortuous thriller with belongings disappearing and they soon find themselves at the mercy of untamed nature, seemingly directed by the local kakapo — a highly intellegent parrot threatened with extinction.

Birdbrain is a skilful portrait of the unquenchable desire of Westerners for the pure and the primitive, revealing the dark side of the explorer’s desire: the insatiable need to control, to invade and leave one’s mark on the landscape. But what happens when nature starts to fight back?

Sinisalo’s previous translated novel, Not Before Sundown (published as Troll in the USA), won the James Tiptree Jr. Award.