Tommi Kinnunen traveled to Castel Goffredo in Italy for the Giuseppe Acerbi Literary Award ceremony. He won the Award for the Italian edition of WHERE FOUR ROADS MEET earlier this year. All’ incrocio delle quattro strade was published by Edizioni Ets and translated by Irene Sorrentino, who was present at the event as well. Ancora una volta i più vivi complimenti a tutti!
Francesca Romana Paci, President of the Giuseppe Acerbi Literary Award Jury describes the work as follows:
“The Giuseppe Acerbi Literary Award, for the year 2023 dedicated to Finnish Literature, is awarded to Tommi Kinnunen for his novel Neljäntienristeys (Where Four Roads Meet), published in Finland in 2014. While it does not make an easy read, the novel proves itself greatly rewarding in many aspects. First of all, there is the admirable way in which the author organizes the time structure of a narration told in episodes, making history, from the beginning of the Twentieth Century to the year 1996, a set frame, and yet maintaining his focus on the characters’ human adventure. Just as admirable is the steady control Kinnunen exercises on the episodes themselves, their dates, their position in the story, their individual style of communication. The constant attention to material and immaterial true-to-life details of everyday life coupled with momentous and at times tragic events enhances an effect of integrity, almost to the point of becoming a message of how men and women should, and can, live through many difficult situations without giving up – accepting grief and joy, battles won and lost, happiness and bereavement, and ultimately the inevitability of death as part of life itself. Finally, it must be noted and appreciated the almost uncanny way in which the author succeeds in making the readers care intensely for his characters.”
“ ‘Where Four Roads Meet’ began in the old albums of my family of photographers, and from the stories I heard in my childhood, the endings of which were left open. Every one of us knows the beautiful family anecdotes told during the Sunday lunches to potential sons-in-law and shy daughters-in-law as thick slices of roast are being served. These stories recount the lives of successful family members. But then there are the others: uncles who couldn’t bear life, aunts who ran away, or children who never learned to love. In everyone’s family, there are those who were not supported by life and whose stories are told in a whisper. They are being referred to in broken sentences only. I would like to thank the Jury, who considered the stories of these people from distant Finnish families worthy of the Giuseppe Acerbi Award. Let us do our best not to lose a single relative, cousin, or the neighbor’s silent wife to obscurity. Or, if we have already lost them, let us tell their stories so that they will resonate from the north to the south and form east to west. Everyone is important, and everyone’s story is worth telling.” – Tommi Kinnunen