Johanna Sinisalo: Enkelten verta [Angels’ blood]

2 February 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Enkelten verta
[Angels’ blood]
Helsinki: Teos, 2011. 274 p.
ISBN 978-951-851-414-8
€ 32, hardback

The literary career of Johanna Sinisalo (born 1958) has embraced fiction, drama, sci-fi and children’s books. Her 2000 Finlandia Fiction Prize-winning fantasy novel Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi and the novel Linnunaivot (2008) have been published in English as Not before Sundown and Birdbrain respectively. In this new novel, set in the near future, the central role is played by bees: widespread beehive failures in the United States and the resulting drop in pollination have resulted in an enormous food shortage that threatens the world economy. Orvo is a loner, the father of Eero, his grown-up son. Sinisalo cleverly works in animal rights activist Eero’s controversial blog comments on animal rights and modern man’s flawed relation to nature. However, this is also the novel’s biggest problem, as the blogging starts to weaken the story, of three generations of men in a family. Both the mythic, parallel reality of the bees and the tough-and-tender relationship between father and son are strong indications of Sinisalo’s narrative skill.
Translated by David McDuff

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