Book Review | A great combination of inhorealism, affection and humor: Karin Smirnoff’s family description continues in a barren way

The second part of the trilogy takes the northern sect into a stranglehold.

Novel

Karin Smirnoff: Take Mother North (Vi for upp med mor). Finland Outi Menna. Oak. 332 s.

How does anyone know how to write such sympathetic stories about poverty, misery, distress and incest? Swedish Karin Smirnoffin the novels are almost disturbingly wonderful.

The novel trilogy in northern Sweden has fascinated Swedish critics and readers. The first part of the trilogy sold 100,000 copies. A TV series is already underway.

Smirnoff’s combination of social inhorealism and humor is irresistibly great: it evokes emotions, upsets and pampers.

Something in the barren life of the North and the people described as brutal seems to appeal to Swedish readers anyway.

Tornio Valley his whimsically creepy life has been depicted with particular skill Mikael Niemi. Also Nina Wähän Heritagenovel drew on the same subject. Many of the Swedish detective stories of recent years are located in small places in the north.

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Northern Sweden is starting to look like an already fabulous area, some kind of Swedish Macondo, where life is fascinating and fabulous despite its harshness.

For a Finnish reader, the description of the people may not be as satisfying as for the Swedes: after all, there is a long tradition in the literature for describing misery in our literature. The Swedish style brings a bit of light, joy and liveliness to the rater realism.

Not that Smirnoff’s trilogy is a very bright story.

First part I went to see my brother told of a family whose plight only ends in brutal paternal murder. The second part opens the backgrounds of the deceased mother. The siblings Jana and Bror Kippo – or janakippo and brorkippo, as Smirnoff writes – go to take the moor to the Tornio Valley for burial.

The imaginary village of Kukkojärvi is full of siblings before unknown relatives. The crowd warmly welcomes the siblings and announces that it would be best for them to stay in the village forever.

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Jana resists as the village is ruled by a terrible sect. The preachers take advantage of the local girls and the men subjugate their wives at home.

The hard-experienced nephew, on the other hand, sees the sect as homely and safe and joins the brethren.

Plot description level Let’s take mother north sounds downright disgustingly crude, but the story is full of humor, affection, and storytelling. Jana’s kind-hearted look at the world is warm and moving.

The most special thing in Smirnoff’s prose is the language that the author calls kippospråk. It is a written version of spoken language developed by the author and used in Västerbotten. Only a period is used for punctuation, and capital letters appear only at the beginning of sentences.

During the first few years, Kippospårk is mostly annoying, but gradually the stunted cadence shows its poetic power. Some figures are reminiscent of verse novels. Outi Menna has translated the books just fine.

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Next Smirnoff has been washed to continue Stieg Larssonin created by Millenniumnovels.

The choice seems surprising, as the Jana Kippo trilogy is far from the most neutral narrative of global success stories. Smirnoff may still be a button selection for Larsson and David Lagercranzin as a successor to the work. As a illustrator of tension and threat, he is adept. The village literally closes its chin around the siblings and Jana’s attempts to save her brother are exciting to follow.

The third part of the trilogy Then I went home will appear in the fall. It’s already waiting.

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