Secular literature in Finnish wasn't published until the nineteenth century. Hence, this anthology of stories first published between 1870 and 2003 is the equivalent of an English fantasy sampler ranging from Beowulf
to Harry Potter,
and it showcases a historical sequence of different literary manners. The one nineteenth-century piece is a synthetic folktale, a variant of the demon-lover scenario. The early-twentieth-century stories--a werewolf tale and a Viking echo of Coleridge's Ancient Mari
ner--are romantic-historical and the most sensuous things in the book. The mid-twentieth-century selections are superficially realist, regardless of fantastic premises or developments; outstanding among them is the Twilight Zone
-ish "Shopping" by Tove Jansson, creator of the famous children's book and comic-strip character Moomin. The newest, late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century stories are often surrealist and subtle, worthy peers of the English-language stories in Feeling Very Strange
(2006). Nature and war are motifs of a great many stories, and wild satire informs a pungent handful. Fantasy fare of the highest literary caliber. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Johanna Sinisalo is the author of many highly-acclaimed short stories; her Troll-The Love Story won the Finlandia Prize in 2000 and has been translated into many languages. Her second novel, Sankarit (2003) transfers the national epic, the Kalevala, to the twenty-first century.
David Hackston graduated from University College, London, in 1999. A translator, he is also a composer and viola player, and currently lives in Helsinki."