Author(s): Diego Marani
One night at Trieste in September 1943 a seriously wounded soldier is found on the quay. With nothing to identify him, and having lost his memory and language, he is a mystery to the crew of the German ship that rescues him. The ship's doctor, a Finn, identifies the name embroidered on the man's jacket as Finnish. Taking him for a fellow countryman, he gradually teaches him to speak Finnish and eventually finds him a berth in an army hospital in Helsinki, from where he may be able to piece together his former life. But the longer he spends in Helsinki, the less he feels at home; the more he learns of the Finnish language and rich history, the less familiar it seems; and by the time we learn his true identity, it's too late. New Finnish Grammar is an unforgettable tale of one man's search for meaning and for identity amid the devastation of WW2.
New Finnish Grammar, by Diego Marani, is the story of a man, brutally beaten in Trieste during World War Two, who regains consciousness but not memory or language. A well-intentioned doctor determines, on the basis of scant evidence, that the recovering man is Finnish and sets in train a series of events that determine his future. There are echoes of The English Patient and this book bears the comparison easily. - Tim
* Author will be a guest of Australian and New Zealand literary festivals in early 2013 * Reviewed widely in major newspapers such as Australian, Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, Courier Mail and Dominion Post * Reviewed widely in literary publications such as Kill Your Darlings and NZ Listener * Author will be interviewed on national radio programs such as ABC Radio National's Late Night Live * Print advertising in literary magazines such as ABR * Online advertising on sites such as Kill Your Darlings * Featured in Text Publishing's newsletters and website
Winner of Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2012. Shortlisted for Best Translated Book Award 2012 and Independent Foreign Fiction Award 2012. European Book Prize 2012.
Diego Marani is the author of a collection of short stories in Europanto (a language he invented), Las Adventures des Inspector Cabillot, and five other novels, including The Last of the Vostyachs.