If you can’t wait for the whole of Rosa Liksom’s new book to be translated, Lola Rogers has put a taster of the very short stories from her brand new book Väliaikainen (Temporary) into English and online at Books from Finland. They are succinct and as sharp as you would expect in their observation of contemporary life. Mr Google features in the booming international social network of one 91-year-old – maybe we can forgive her for wanting to do things in her “normal language” – but the ultimate bridezilla doesn’t seem to need a Mr of any kind.
If you want more like this, but believe the power of Mr Google is limited, here’s some more contemporary Finnish fiction, also introduced by Lola Rogers for Words Without Borders. My favourite story here is just a few months old: Daughters! (Milla ja Meri by Shimo Suntila, translation by Liisa Rantalaiho). Shimo Suntila set himself the challenge of writing a 100-word story every day for a year, and succeeded (link in Finnish only) in producing something to read with your espresso for a whole year to come. Daughters! is a bit longer, but bilingual, so you can play “guess the Finnish word” easily against the translation. It is also simply fabulous.