Death of the Bear / Karhun Kuolema

Tammi, 2010

From the Ahlbäck Agency foreign rights guide:

A lyrical, down-to-earth story of family members painfully searching for their place in this world.

A ballad of unrequited love. “The bear would shamble up and she would become the bear’s and everything would be the way it was and no one would be able to do anything about it.” But the bear never comes, and Stella stops waiting.

Until someone starts sniffing around the house. The Bear’s Death expands on Finno-Ugric mythology. Mumma dies but refuses to rest. She cannot; she is simply incapable of it. The paralyzed old woman was at the mercy of her daughter Fanny while she was alive, but now she is free and everything remains unfinished.

Fanny’s son Alex is rootless. His relationship with a round-cheeked Inuit doesn’t bring him peace of mind, nor does returning to his homeland, where his cool and distant mother awaits.

Only Fanny’s sister Stella, a healer shunned by her fellow villagers, knows her place: she will become the bear’s bride. But only those who are bound forcefully enough to the earth can find comfort in the arms of the bear.

“The narration in Essi Kummu’s second novel appeals to the senses. The fragrance of the forest, the prickle of pine needles and a warming smile give wings to the flow of this story so permeated in death. — Kummu writes like many other young women of today: physically, sinfully and visibly breaching boundaries.”
– Aamulehti

Essi Kummu — Death of the Bear — Sample Translation 04.11.2010



Leave a Reply