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219 pages

The Devil on My Shoulder


Why are mischief-makers always stirring things up?

In Maritta Lintunen’s masterful short stories, people are goaded into action by forces both internal and external. An author receives messages from a stranger and starts working on a novel based on promptings from the enigmatic figure. A bright boy joins a class, vexing the teacher so badly he reveals his weaknesses. And the past is hard to escape: a girlfriend from years ago pops up at an awkward moment; suddenly someone’s forced to remember a person they thought no longer mattered.

Lintunen ingeniously portrays people of various ages whose moral compass is shaped by their life experience and generation. The line between right and wrong is faint indeed, and good intentions can lead to unexpected consequences.