Archive for June, 1995

Solitude growing

Issue 2/1995 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extract from Häiriö maisemassa (‘A disturbance in the landscape’, Otava, 1994). In this, her first novel, Raija Siekkinen – well-known for the fragile prose fof her short stories – continues her dissection of the soul with an account of the experience of a womanwho finds that many lives are being lived through her own

She was pregnant. After all these years, the woman finally found she was pregnant: it was as if the man had made a last attack to retain his hold on a country he had once conquered.

She let the days go by, the days of autumn, which night by night edged more shadow across the damp lawn. She looked at the man from a distance, not seeing him; her mind rehearsed what she knew about him. The man had two children from a previous marriage. The woman had not wanted the children to come here, and neither did their mother; that was, indeed, the only subject on which they agreed. The man went to visit his children; they never spoke about what happened on those occasions. More…

Going on a summer holiday

Issue 2/1995 | Archives online, Authors

As the setting of her first novel, Underbara kvinnor vid vatten (‘Wonderful women beside the water’), Monika Fagerholm has chosen the Finland-Swedish summer paradise, a group of summer cottages by the sea just outside Helsingfors. The portrayal of summer cottages is, as Fagerholm herself has pointed out, almost a genre within Finland-Swedish literature; writings on the subject include those of Tove Jansson and Johan Bargum. Summer-cottage life involves a return to the safe lucidity of childhood, while those who live all the rest of the year in a cramped
 city apartment understandably enough 
dream of the freedom that the sea and the sun represent. Above all, the life that is lived in summer is more whole, more full than anything that is experienced during the dark winter. More…

The summer of 1965

Issue 2/1995 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

From Underbara kvinnor vid vatten (‘Wonderful Women by the Sea’, Söderströms, 1994; Finnish translation lhanat naiset rannalla, Otava, 1995). Introduction by Michel Ekman

The summer of 1965; this summer people go waterskiing. They go waterskiing behind the Lindberghs’ shining mahogany sportsboat, and from midsummer onwards they go water-skiing behind Gabbe’s outboard motorboat, an Evinrude bought second-hand from Robin Lindbergh. Now Bella and Rosa are skiing: Tupsu Lindbergh’s face is covered in freckles if you look at her close to, and it’s not particularly becoming, her fair hair is super-peroxided and she is as thin as a skeleton and everyone knows that it’s because she is so thin and ugly and not because she has a cold that she says she can’t take part in any watersports. There is something nervous about Tupsu Lindbergh. At Bella’s party at the beginning of the summer Tupsu Lindbergh sits on the white villa’s veranda, on the white villa’s lawn on a camping chair, on the white villa’s beach while Bella and Rosa go waterskiing and talk about Tupperware. Not Tupperware all the time, but Tupperware is the collective description. More…