Reviews of The Core of the Sun
The Core of the Sun, Johanna Sinisalo’s latest book (translated into English by your faithful correspondent) has been in bookstores for a month, and the reviews are starting to come in.
I particularly like a piece by Jason Heller on the NPR website that discusses the abundance of interesting speculative fiction in Finland, and how hard it is to find English-language publishers for these riches:
The Core of the Sun comes out in the United States this month, three years after its release in Finland. Considering how startling and moving the book is, that lag is a shame — yet Sinisalo is lucky. Precious few Finnish authors of speculative fiction receive such a boon as widespread American exposure, despite the fact that Finland — like so many countries around the globe — has a thriving spec-fic scene whose best writers rival those of the English-speaking world.
The reasons behind this are as mundane as they are frustrating: A lack of recognition, the cost of translation, and the American book-buying public’s hesitation in general to dive too deeply into the vast pool of books written in a language other than English. Exceptions abound, of course — The Core of the Sun obviously included, although it remains to be seen if Sinisalo’s brilliance catches on in America — but they often require a champion in the U.S. publishing industry to step up and put some muscle behind them.
I wrote a piece on translating Johanna Sinisalo’s work for the Seattle Review of Books this past winter, and it’s fun to notice signs that my article is one resource that reviewers consulted in writing about the book.