Pajtim Statovci & Laura Lindstedt with David Hackston
Please join us for a special program with two Finnish novelists whose Finlandia Prize winning books are now available in English translation. Pajtim Statovci, author of Bolla (Pantheon) and Laura Lindstedt, My Friend Natalia (Liveright) will appear in conversation with their translator, David Hackston.
About Bolla: “Astounding writing distinguishes this portrait of love, loss, and war from Kosovo-born Finnish writer and National Book Award finalist Statovci (Crossing). The story alternates between the feverish recollections of Milos and Arsim, whose paths cross briefly but indelibly in 1995 Kosovo, where Milos, a Serb who is studying medicine, and Arsim, a married Albanian literature student, become lovers...It's an eloquent story of desire and displacement, a melancholy symphony in a heartbreaking minor key. Statovci is a master.” -Publishers Weekly.
About My Friend Natalia (Ystäväni Natalia): “Lindstedt's novel reads like the love child of a pornographer and a high theorist: Derrida meets Anaïs Nin. Ultimately, this is as much a novel about language as it is about sexuality or psychology, and translator Hackston has performed a virtuosic task capturing the Finnish pyrotechnics in English. Lindstedt may not be looking to make an exact analogy between the work of therapy and the work an artist does, but it's hard not to read this as an ars poetica: 'If you talk a lot, ' the therapist says, 'the sorrow might permanently change shape.' Bawdy and beguiling.” -Kirkus Reviews
Pajtim Statovci was born in Kosovo to Albanian parents in 1990 and moved to Finland when he was two years old. He holds an MA in comparative literature and is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. His first book, My Cat Yugoslavia, won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for best debut novel; his second novel, Crossing, was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Bolla was awarded Finland’s highest literary honor, The Finlandia Prize. In 2018, he received the Helsinki Writer of the Year Award.
Laura Lindstedt is a significant reformer of literary fiction and much discussed critical darling. Her first novel, Sakset ("Scissors") was published in 2007 and nominated for the Finlandia Prize and second novel, Oneiron - A Phantasy about the Seconds after Death (2015), earned her the coveted Finlandia Prize. Oneiron was a candidate for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2017. The translation rights of her latest novel My Friend Natalia have already been sold in 11 territories. She is currently revising her Ph.D. thesis on French author Nathalie Sarraute.
David Hackston is a British translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. His translation of Pajtim Statovci's Crossing was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Finland in New York and The Elliott Bay Book Company.
This pre-recorded program will remain live through July 31. Pre-register to receive the link to the program and to order copies of the books.