Anja Snellman
Publication date
Otava Publishing Company
Format info
319 pages

Pet Shop Girls

Lemmikkaupan tytöt

At age fourteen, Jasmin disappears. Her last sighting is at a snack stand, a camel hair coat over her shoulders and a fluffy pet, possibly a chinchilla rabbit, in her arms. The snack vendor also remembers a companion, a gentleman with a brimmed hat that shadowed his face. This lead is not pursued, however, as the vendor is a somewhat suspicious character, rumored to have once staged a burglary of his own business.

Twelve years later, Jasmin tells her story. The calm of Anja Snellman’s poetic language provides a startling contrast to the reality behind the pet shop that teenage Jasmin frequented with her friends: prostitution and trafficking in girls. A world where anything is possible and everything is for sale.

Snellman reveals a world of victims where some remain trapped and some take revenge—on other victims. The story is complemented by one of the first world histories of prostitution. How has porn become harmless entertainment? How has a business based on abuse and exploitation become a harbinger of economic freedom?


Previously published in

Armenian (Guitank)
Czech (Metafora)
English (Ice Cold Crime, USA)
Italian (Castelvecchi/ Elliot Edizioni)
Polish (Świat Książki)
Spanish (Maeva)


Reading materials

English edition
Finnish edition
Italian edition
Spanish edition


Praise for the work

“The novel runs smoothly and skillfully on multiple time levels, driven by several narrators, much like a modern episodic movie.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

“According to Anja Snellman, a comprehensive history of prostitution—or, more prosaically, sex trade—remains unwritten. She has written one, however, and included it in her novel, one of her best.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper