The Winter War
Written by Philip Teir
Translated by Tiina Nunnally
Publication Date September 19, 2015
On the surface, the Paul family are living the liberal, middle-class Scandinavian dream. Max Paul is a renowned sociologist and his wife Katriina has a well-paid job in the public sector. They live in an airy apartment in the centre of Helsinki. But look closer and the cracks start to show.
As he approaches his sixtieth birthday, the certainties of Max's life begin to dissolve. He hasn't produced any work of note for decades. His wife no longer loves him. His grown-up daughters — one in London, one in Helsinki — have problems of their own. So when a former student turned journalist shows up and offers him a seductive lifeline, Max starts down a dangerous path from which he may never find a way back.
Funny, sharp, and brilliantly truthful, Teir's debut has the feel of a big, contemporary, humane American novel, but with a distinctly Scandinavian edge.
Philip Teir, a Finnish-Swede, is considered one of the most promising young writers in Scandinavia. His poetry and short stories have been included in anthologies, including Granta Finland. The Winter War is his first novel. He is married with two children and lives in Helsinki, Finland.
"...a compelling narrative..." National Post
"A darkly comic, satisfying novel of richly rendered inner tensions played out in interpersonal relationships." Kirkus
"It is a tender, funny, utterly convincing story about a brittle, unhappy wife, a fearful-of-aging husband, and their two adult children." Minnesota Star Tribune