New from the archives

11 May 2015 | This 'n' that

Sinikka Tirkkonen

Sinikka Tirkkonen. Photo: Otava.

Short short prose from Sinikka Tirkkonen

This week, a short story by Sinikka Tirkkonen (born 1954), which we published in 1988 – a piece of confessional prose, ‘comfortless and depressed’, as Tero Liukkonen’s introduction has it, about life in a bleakly solipsistic world; the kind of writing, one’s inclined to say with hindsight, that only the young, or at least the not very old, have the leisure to produce.

‘Things are only right for me,’ says the unnamed narrator, ‘when they bring grief and distress in their train, when they pile up guilt feelings, harsh self-criticism and self-denial… All my life I’ll be deprived of something, always – full of cares, fears, terrible agonies. I’ve no right to live.’ There’s a train journey north, two women in a car on a long drive across Lapland, work, a husband’s unfaithfulness, pointlessness….

It’s beautifully done, though, with an appealing poetic minimalism. Enjoy!


The Books from Finland digitisation project continues, with a total of 388 articles and book extracts made available on our website so far. Each week, we bring a newly digitised text to your attention.


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