Katja Kettu
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268 pages

The Sorrow Collector


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

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

The Sorrow Collector, the pearl of her people, has two tasks: to restore her family name; and to throw her sorrows into the River Aura. Both tasks require diving into the past to seek out foregone wrongdoings. She is armed with black and white fact, 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 both her personal history and that of her mistreated family to the stage. She has been deprived of all honour – mercilessly and uncompromisingly, but with warmth and love. Story by story she comes closer to discovering and learning about her family’s secret.


Finnish PDF
German sample translation
Slovenian sample translation

Prizes and nominations

2005, Winner of the Tiiliskivi Prize