Tuesday, 12 May 2009

When I Forgot

The New York Times has a review of Finnish author Elina Hirvonen's first novel, Että hän muistaisi saman (English title When I Forgot) in a translation by Douglas Robinson. The book examines the way in which the mental illness of one member of a family can have a drastic effect on the others, and is also built around the worldwide repercussions of 9/11. The translation was originally published by Portobello Books in 2007, but is now released in the U.S. by Tin House Books. The reviewer, Liesl Schillinger, notes Hirvonen's implicit message that, in a world marked by events like World War 2, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Vietnam War and the war on terror,
All that most people can hope to make sense of, wherever and whenever they live... is their understanding of themselves and of their own capabilities.

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