Norma

Norma

Written by: Oksanen, Sofi
Translated by: Witesman, Owen F.

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From the international bestselling author of Purge and When the Doves Disappeared comes a spellbinding new novel set in present-day Helsinki about a young woman with a fantastical secret who is trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s death.

When Anita Naakka jumps in front of an oncoming train, her daughter, Norma, is left alone with the secret they have spent their lives hiding: Norma has supernatural hair, sensitive to the slightest changes in her mood — and the moods of those around her — corkscrewing when danger is near. And so it is her hair that alerts her, while she talks with a strange man at her mother’s funeral, that her mother may not have taken her own life.

Setting out to reconstruct Anita’s final months, Norma begins to realize that her mother knew more about her hair’s power than she let on. As Sofi Oksanen leads us deeper into Norma’s world, weaving together past and present, she gives us a dark family drama that is a searing portrait of both the exploitation of women’s bodies and the extremes to which people will go for the sake of beauty.

From the international bestselling author of Purge and When the Doves Disappeared comes a spellbinding new novel set in present-day Helsinki about a young woman with a fantastical secret who is trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s death.

When Anita Naakka jumps in front of an oncoming train, her daughter, Norma, is left alone with the secret they have spent their lives hiding: Norma has supernatural hair, sensitive to the slightest changes in her mood — and the moods of those around her — corkscrewing when danger is near. And so it is her hair that alerts her, while she talks with a strange man at her mother’s funeral, that her mother may not have taken her own life.

Setting out to reconstruct Anita’s final months, Norma begins to realize that her mother knew more about her hair’s power than she let on. As Sofi Oksanen leads us deeper into Norma’s world, weaving together past and present, she gives us a dark family drama that is a searing portrait of both the exploitation of women’s bodies and the extremes to which people will go for the sake of beauty.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Sep 2, 2017
Specifications 320 pages | 5.5 in x 8.25 in
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Excerpt
Written By

SOFI OKSANEN is a Finnish Estonian novelist and playwright. Her novel Purge won the Prix Femina and the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and When the Doves Disappeared was the winner of the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Her previous novel, Norma, was a #1 bestseller in Finland and was a finalist for the Young Aleksis Literature Prize and the New Academy Prize in Literature. Oksanen was recently awarded a Medal of Honour by the Ukrainian Association in Finland. She has also received the Budapest Grand Prize, the European Book Prize, and the Chevalier Medal of Honour from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. She lives in Helsinki.

Written By

SOFI OKSANEN is a Finnish Estonian novelist and playwright. Her novel Purge won the Prix Femina and the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and When the Doves Disappeared was the winner of the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Her previous novel, Norma, was a #1 bestseller in Finland and was a finalist for the Young Aleksis Literature Prize and the New Academy Prize in Literature. Oksanen was recently awarded a Medal of Honour by the Ukrainian Association in Finland. She has also received the Budapest Grand Prize, the European Book Prize, and the Chevalier Medal of Honour from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. She lives in Helsinki.

Short-listed, Young Aleksis Literature Prize, 2017

“[An] ambitious contemporary fantasy novel . . . Oksanen creates intricate characters and imagery.” —Publisher's Weekly

“Oksanen, author of the internationally bestselling Purge, has a rather delightful imagination, and it is a wonder to watch her spin her outrageous story with the utter seriousness of your average thriller.” —Star Tribune