Thursday, December 03, 2020

A First for Finland

Barely a week has passed since the announcement of finalists for the 2020 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, and already we have a winner. It’s Little Siberia (Orenda), written by Antti Tuomainen and translated from the Finnish by David Hackston. A news release today carries this statement from Petrona judges:
Antti Tuomainen’s Little Siberia stood out on the shortlist for all of the judges. From its arresting opening, in which a meteorite unexpectedly lands on a speeding car, to its very human depiction of a pastor grappling with private and theological crises, this is a pitch-perfect comic crime novel with considerable depth and heart.

The first Finnish crime novel to receive the Petrona Award,
Little Siberia is a particularly fitting winner for 2020—a year in which life was turned upside down. A celebration of resilience, fortitude and simply muddling through, it is a novel for our times.

David Hackston’s fine translation captures
Little Siberia’s depictions of an icy northern Finland and its darkly comic tone, skilfully showcasing the writing of one of Scandinavia’s most versatile and original crime authors. Little Siberia is published by Orenda Books, one of the UK’s foremost independent publishers, which consistently champions international and translated crime fiction.
In addition to a handsome trophy, author Tuomainen will be given “a pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.” He and his translator are in line, too, for cash prizes.

Also shortlisted for the 2020 Petrona were The Courier, by Kjell Ola Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett (Orenda; Norway); Inborn, by Thomas Enger, translated by Kari Dickson (Orenda; Norway); The Cabin, by Jørn Lier Horst, translated by Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway); The Silver Road, by Stina Jackson, translated by Susan Beard (Corvus; Sweden); and The Absolution, by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, translated by Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland).

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