cover image Birdbrain


Johanna Sinisalo, trans. from the Finnish by David Hackston, Peter Owen (Trafalgar Square, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-7206-1343-8

After a one-night stand, business traveler Heidi and bartender Jyrki decide to take a weeks-long series of extreme hikes through the most isolated parts of Tasmania, New Zealand, and Australia. Spectacularly beautiful vistas, soul-crushingly difficult treks, and romantic and erotic interludes push Heidi and Jyrki to their limits. As they leave civilization behind, mysterious occurrences threaten their lives in parallel to human activities threatening the environment. Fans of Sinisalo's Tiptree Award–winning debut, Troll: A Love Story, may be surprised that overtly speculative elements make few appearances, but the lavish descriptions of panoramas and the experience of pushing beyond all endurance make for a lyrical and occasionally sinister odyssey second only to making one's own foray into the wilderness. (Apr.)