The Limit, by Riikka Pulkkinen
Riikka Pulkkinen’s first novel The Limit, written when she was just 26 years old – and translated by yours truly – will be released in May by Scribe Publications, Australia.
The novel is a story of ordinary people testing, and being tested by, the limits of acceptable conduct. Anja is a literature professor struggling to keep a difficult promise to her husband at the end of his life. Her student Julian, who teaches high school, trespasses sexual boundaries with Mari, a girl in his literature class. Observing adults from a child’s point of view, Julian’s daughter Anni learns her limitations, and those of her parents. Mari, the troubled 16-year-old at the center of the story, finds herself experimenting with transgressive, self-destructive behaviors until an accident allows her to break through her limitations in heroic ways and see herself in a new light.
Like Pulkkinen’s second novel, True, published in English in 2012, The Limit fuses philosophical and emotional questions in a thoughtful, moving way, and culminates in an emotionally cathartic resolution.
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