Sofi Oksanen measures the effects of war and fascism with stockings and a 'lipstick index'
Finland's multiple award-winning global literary rock star Sofi Oksanen, in an interview with Iranian-born, Swedish author and book critic Athena Farrokhzad at the 2013 Goteborg Book Fair, reviewed her latest novel, When The Doves Disappeared. Originally published in Finland in 2012, currently being translated into 25 languages, and soon to be published by Knopf in the U.S. (date to be announced), When the Doves Disappeared, the story of a 'natural born liar' in war-torn, oppression-ravaged Estonia, is Oksanen's third historical novel set in Estonia, following Stalin's Cow and Purge. Oksanen described writing these novels of eating disorders, sexual violence, and human trafficking under three successive (Soviet Union, German and then Soviet Union again) occupations as like writing a 'symphony orchestra of terror'. Oksanen went on to describe how she seduces readers of such human horrors with language and love stories set in true historical context and told in keen detail of everyday events, measuring the daily oppression of people's lives, for instance, by the availability of small luxuries like women's stockings and what she referred to as the 'lipstick index'. Oksanen then described her writing as a way of reaching out to her readers as 'outsiders' and wrapped her conversation with Farrokhzad with a discussion of her 2005 novel Baby Jane and its central theme of panic disorders.
Book and Author Headlines
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