cover image Little Siberia

Little Siberia

Antti Tuomainen, trans. from the Finnish by David Hackston. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-912374-51-9

Pastor Joel Huhta, the narrator of this stunning comic noir from Tuomainen (Palm Beach Finland), who ministers to the mostly neurotic villagers of Hurmevaara in the far north of Finland, has a secret. Due to wounds from his deployment to Afghanistan, Joel can’t father children, but six days after a meteorite strikes a former rally driver’s car, Joel discovers that his beloved wife, Krista, is pregnant. Joel, consumed by jealousy, searches for the father of Krista’s child as several boozy and violent villagers and Russian thugs plot to steal the valuable meteor from the local museum where it’s temporarily housed. With scalpel-keen portraits of villagers and their cruel wintry environment, the author humorously probes the eternal ironies, temptations, and uncertainties facing people caught up in unexpected circumstances. Tuomainen also persuades readers how hard life makes it to do the right thing in a universe that too often feels like a profound personal insult. Fans of Scandinavian noir will relish this one. Agent: Federico Ambrosini, Salomonsson Agency (U.K.). (Apr.)