November 2015: Nordic Book Club in NYC Reads Jääskeläinen

Scandinavia House in New York City runs a new Nordic book club, and this November’s book is The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Finnish author Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen.

Jaaskelainen Rabbit Back Lit Soc

Novelist and short-story writer Jääskeläinen writes realistic fantasy (to translate his term reaalifantasia). The Rabbit Back Literature Society, published in 2014 in UK and 2015 in US, is Jääskeläinen’s first novel and the first of his works to be translated into English (from the original Lumikko ja yhdeksän muuta, 2006).

Here’s the publisher’s description:

“Only very special people are chosen by children’s author Laura White to join ‘The Society’, an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back.

“Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, literature teacher and possessor of beautifully curving lips.

“But soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual, ‘The Game’? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura’s winter party, in a whirlwind of snow? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her?

“Slowly, disturbing secrets that had been buried come to light…

“In this chilling, darkly funny novel, the uncanny brushes up against the everyday in the most beguiling and unexpected of ways.”

The only other piece of Jääskeläinen in English at this writing is Where the Trains Turn (orig. Missä junat kääntyvät, 2000), published in November 2014 by

Apart from Finnish SFF, the book club program for this fall contains Danish contemporary fiction and two Swedish crime thrillers. From

“Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Nordic Book Club – ASF’s newest literary series. This season’s selections include Swedish crime thrillers, Danish contemporary fiction, and Finnish fantasy. Discussions typically take place the last Tuesday of the month in the Halldór Laxness Library at Scandinavia House and online at”

Jääskeläinen’s book will be discussed on November 24, 2015, at 6 pm at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave (Manhattan). The entry is free.

Image: Pushkin Press.

Post edited for style.

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