New Finnish Grammar

Diego Marani


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Dedalus Ltd
8 November 2019
ISBN: 9781912868216
187 pages

From the publisher

One night at Trieste in September 1943 a seriously wounded soldier is found on the quay. The doctor, of a newly arrived German hospital ship gives the unconscious soldier medical assistance. His new patient has no documents or anything that can identify him. When he regains consciousness he has lost his memory and cannot even remember what language he speaks. From a few things found on the man, the doctor, who is originally from Finland, believes him to be a sailor and a fellow countryman, who somehow or other has ended up in Trieste. The doctor dedicates himself to teaching the man Finnish, beginning the reconstruction of the identity of Sampo Karjalainen, leading the missing man to return to Finland in search of his identity and his past.

New Finnish Grammar won three literary prizes in Italy; the Premio Grinzane Cavour, Premio Ostia Mare and Premio Giuseppe Desi. Judith Landry's translation won The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2012 and was shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction Award 2012. In the USA it was shortlisted for The Best Translated Book Award.