What does it take to survive? This is the question posed by the extraordinary Finnish novella that has taken the Nordic literary scene by storm.
1867: a year of devastating famine in Finland. Marja, a farmer’s wife from the north, sets off on foot through the snow with her two young children. Their goal: St Petersburg, where people say there is bread. Others are also heading south, just as desperate to survive. Ruuni, a boy she meets, seems trustworthy. But can anyone really help?
Why Peirene chose to publish this book: ‘Like Cormac McCarthy’sThe Road, this apocalyptic story deals with the human will to survive. And let me be honest: There will come a point in this book where you can take no more of the snow-covered desolation. But then the first rays of spring sun appear and our belief in the human spirit revives. A stunning tale.’Meike Ziervogel
‘White Hungeris Aki Ollikainen’s debut work, but it is written with the control of someone who has mastered the form.’Nicholas Lezard,Guardian
‘Such a powerful, honest and thought-provoking story deserves an audience far beyond the shores of Scandinavia.’Pam Norfolk,Lancashire Evening Post
‘Impossible not to respond to its raw, unsparing drama.’Elizabeth Bucan,Daily Mail
‘A tale of epic substance compacted into a mere seven-score pages.’Ben Paynter,Los Angeles Review of Books