Katja Kettu
Publication date
Format info
268 pages

The Sorrow Collector


A debut novel that is a delightfully skewed take on a young woman’s efforts to correct the wrongdoings of history and restore her family’s tarnished honour.


“I looked in the mirror. Generation after generation of my family was looking back at me and they didn’t like what they saw.”

The Sorrow Collector is a delightfully grotesque family saga, a grotesquely beautiful tale of revenge and responsibility. At the same time, it is a study of reality, of how we perceive and interpret it. Into what it takes to be happy in this world, to learn not to worry about trivial things.

The Sorrow Collector, the pearl of her people, has two tasks: To restore the name of the family and to throw her sorrows into the River Aura. Both of them require diving into the past where the wrongdoing took place. She is armed with facts in black and white, her shield comprises the stones she has gathered over the years, a collection of sorrows.

On her way from the North to the South, the Sorrow Collector brings to the stage b05oth her personal history and that of her mistreated family, deprived of all honour – mercilessly and uncompromisingly but with warmth and love. Story by story she comes closer to her family’s secret of which even she herself has been unaware.


Literary Prizes

Tiiliskivi Prize, 2005


Reading material

Finnish edition
English synopsis
German sample
Slovenian sample