The Red Book of Farewells
By Pirkko Saisio and Mia Spangenberg, Translator
For fans of Tove Ditlevsen and Karl Ove Knausgaard, an enigmatic work of autofiction set in a time of leftist politics and criminalized sexuality.
Pirkko Saisio’s autofictional novel, in Mia Spangenberg’s tender translation from Finnish, is a mesmerizing account of radical politics and sexual awakening in a series of farewells—to her mother, to the idealism of youth, to friends and lovers, and finally to her grown daughter. The novel embeds readers in a delirious Finland, where art and communist politics are hopelessly intertwined, and where queer love, still a crime, thrives in underground bars. Playful and mysterious, The Red Book of Farewells stoically embraces the revolutionary potential of moving on.