Mikko Rimminen: Nenäpäivä [Nose day]
Female protagonists as sympathetic as this are rare in contemporary literature; in this third novel by Mikko Rimminen (born 1975), Irma is a solitary, slightly awkward outsider who gets badly tangled up in a muddle of her own making. She poses as a door-to-door market researcher – in order to meet people. Rimminen employs a more complex plot than in his previous novels (his 2004 debut work, Pussikaljaromaani, ‘A six-pack novel’, about idle young men, has been translated into five languages). The author is an acknowledged master of the slow narration: he is skilled at describing the sound of silence and giving a page-long description of the behaviour of a mobile phone in someone’s hand. All that passes unsaid and unseen between people is cleverly and hilariously put into words. Rimminen’s Finnish is highly original – he keeps creating new verbs and compounds – and his characters who stand on the margins hankering after ordinary life gain the reader’s genuine sympathy.
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