The Book of Strangers

Maria, a parish pastor, leaves her life inFinland behind and journeys toNew York, wracked by a heated internal debate between responsibility and the need to escape. InNew York, Maria meets a woman who opens the door to the world of dance. Step by step, she gains the courage to reflect on where she’s really from: that northern village where the repressive religious atmosphere nearly made her invisible, or some more distant place?

Eventually, Maria is also able to turn her gaze inwards. What is the secret she has borne with her across the ocean? What evil was done to that little girl who tried to makeFinlandher home, the girl whose diary Maria carries with her?

The Book of Strangers pulses with the restless rhythms of dance and the density of heavy, haunting night-time memories.  It is a complex story of searching for one’s own truth and admitting one’s humanity – a journey during which we realise we are always a stranger to someone.

Riikka Pulkkinen brings intelligence and all senses to bear in her treatment of alienation, religion, and corporality.

An excerpt in English is available.

300 pages / 140 x 202 mm / 2012

Praise for The Book of Strangers

”Riikka Pulkkinen has written a strong, contemporary novel about the alienation of life.” – Helsingin Sanomat

The Book of Strangers is a very clever novel, and you can’t help but be drawn straight into its flourishingly created world.” – Turun Sanomat

”Riikka Pulkkinen creates ambitious reflections on humanity, with great deliberation and meticulous consideration.” – Aamulehti

”This author does not publish gap novels. (…) The Book of Strangers is as influential and complete as her earlier novels The Border and True.” – Kainuun Sanomat

“Pulkkinen’s third novel is a brave change of direction and in many places a striking statement about alienation.” – Satakunnan Kansa

Published in

  • Danish (Gyldendal)
  • Dutch (De Arbeiderspers)
  • Norwegian (Gyldendal Norsk)

Rights sold

  • French (Albin Michel)
  • Swedish (Norstedt)
Riikka Pulkkinen

International book covers

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Media contact

Foreign rights:
Leenastiina Kakko
Foreign Rights Manager
+ 358 40 7555527

Media photos

These images may be used for articles concerning Riikka Pulkkinen’s books or the author herself. The picture source must be mentioned: © Otava / Jouni Harala.

For more photographs of Riikka, please contact:
Jouni Harala/ Studio Valo
+358 400 404 314

Click the image to download a full size image. You can also download all the pictures by clicking here (.zip, 55,5 Mb).