Welcome to this week’s edition of Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Metroreader.
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Two books arrived at my home this week:
Meike from Peirene Press sent me a copy of The Brothers by Asko Sahlberg (January 2012) which has been translated from the Finnish by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah. Today I devoured this novella which is set in 1809 and centers around two brothers, Henrik and Erik, who fought on opposite sides in the war between Sweden and Russia. Meike writes: “This is a historical novel in miniature form. It deals in dark passions and delivers as many twists as a 500-page epic. And if that were not enough, each character speaks in a distinct voice and expresses a unique take on reality. I’m thrilled to be publishing a book that is as Finnish as a forest in winter – but that resembles a work from the American South: William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.” I found this slim story packed with action and an excellent read so watch for my review tomorrow.
Asko Sahlberg was born 1964 and has acquired a fame in Finland that has yet to be replicated in the English speaking world. He published his first novel in 2000 and has written steadily since then, completing his ninth work, The Brothers, in 2010.
Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah unite as a multi-lingual mother and daughter translation team. Emily has an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in German Studies. Fleur, her mother, is Finnish. They have co-operated on translating the poetry of Helvi Juvonen and Sirkka Turkka.
Random House sent me an unsolicited finished copy of The O’Briens by Peter Behrens (March 2012). This family saga is set during the twentieth century. Joe O’Brien, a backwoods boy and grandson of a potato-famine emigrant, meets Iseult Wilkins in Venice, California and it is their courtship which opens the novel. At the heart of the novel “is mystery and madness grounded in the history of Irish sorrow.”
Peter Behrens is the author of The O’Briens and The Law of Dreams (which received Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and was published around the world to wide acclaim) and Night Driving, a collection of short stories. His stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic and Tin House. Honors he has received include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program. Learn more about Behrens and his work by visiting the author’s website.
Did any wonderful books arrive at YOUR house this week?