Riku Korhonen
Publication date
Format info
287 pages

Sleep Close

Nuku lähelläni

A tender and insightful portray of the power dynamics of intimate relationships and the chasm between fantasy and reality


Teemu is 35 years old and, despite having a masters degree, works in a mobile phone factory. Teemu hasn’t really found his path yet – in contrast to his now-deceased brother, who worked as a risk analyst for a major bank in one of Europe’s financial centres. Teemu travels to this foreign city to bury his brother, who was estranged from his family for years, and finds himself in a surprising, revelatory relationship with Nina, his late brother’s girlfriend.

As their passionate affair grows deeper, Teemu feels like he has stepped into someone else’s dream, and he no longer recognizes himself or the life he is living.

Sleep Close describes the dreamlike quality life takes when we leave the familiar behind and enter the unknown. Situated in central Europe, it draws on the global economic crisis in depicting individuals and their life choices.

Sleep Close was shortlisted for the Finnish Literary Export Prize 2013 for the best international potential.


Reading material

Finnish edition
Unedited English translation

A minireview in English available in Books from Finland online and a longer review also on FILI’s homepage.


Praise for the work

”(…) Sleep Close might be the year’s strongest Finnish title. (…) Black humour, verging on grotesque at times, oozes from the pages, and the narrator’s observations of the world are anguished but sharp. The author does not hide behind an endless stream of irony but holds his broken characters in a warm embrace. The story is both harrowing and funny. (…) Vacuum of values is a familiar theme in post-war literature. Korhonen continues the Camusian tradition.” – Etelä-Saimaan Sanomat

“The wow-factor in Korhonen’s work is in his skill to build each scene to perfection. Situations, surrounding buildings and the different atmospheres are tangible and complete (…) Sleep Close does not aim to bring every twist in the storyline to its conclusion. It is more like cartography, mapping out the ideas and sensations around each situation. As such the book works beautifully, albeit demanding more of its reader.” – Turun Sanomat

”Korhonen enters the core of his talent in his exploration of how relationships are created.” – Helsingin Sanomat