My Finnish Taniwha
“‘This is our year abroad,’ Ella’s mother gushed on the aeroplane. ‘Bai bai, Finland!’ When Ella asked why, Mum said everyone needs a little adventure now and again. Her father explained it was an opportunity for him to gain international work experience. Ella would have been satisfied with a week at the beach.”
My Finnish Taniwha (translated into English by Christina Saarinen) is a tragicomic novel about a Finnish family spending a year in New Zealand. The parents enjoy their time in Auckland, but their daughter Ella is lonely. The novel tells of fear, the thirst for life, and the beauty and horror of the world. In a foreign environment, Ella learns to watch even familiar faces more closely than ever before. This magical realist story delves into the heart of what it means to be human and speaks volumes by asking: who are we to one another?
My Finnish Taniwha was nominated for the SFF Rosetta Awards in 2021.