WW Norton When I Forgot is an astonishingly assured and compelling debut novel about the love siblings have for each other, the past they share, and the painful memories that shape their lives forever.
Baker & Taylor A Finlandia Prize-winning work finds Anna en route to visit her institutionalized brother and experiencing a moment of recollection so arresting that it shatters her world, a repressed memory of horrific psychological relevance that forces her to reevaluate her understanding of hope and survival in the face of grim modern-world prospects. Original. A first novel.
Given its surprising beauty and assured voice, it's hard to believe that When I Forgot is Elina Hirvonen's first novel. While on her way to the hospital where her brother is institutionalized, Anna experiences a moment of recollection so arresting it shatters her world a recollection of searing pain and madness. Exploring psychological trauma, the boundaries of memory, and the political ramifications of September 11, 2001,When I Forgot offers gripping insights into the universal themes of suppressed pain and, above all, retaining a sense of hope in an increasingly grim world.
Blackwell North Amer An astonishingly assured and compelling debut, When I Forgot explores the relationship between a sister and her brother, the past that they share, and the painful memories that shape their lives forever.Anna is on her way to the hospital where her brother has been institutionalized when she falters, and in that pause her world splinters in a blazing display of memory and madness, of childhood security treasured and shattered, and of families blighted by psychological trauma—her brother's and that of her boyfriend's father, a Vietnam vet. September 11 serves as a backdrop for the story, and the Finnish perspective on America and its politics is as uncomfortable as it is compelling. In Elina Hirvonen's skillful hands, the grimness is illuminated by firecracker insight and surprising beauty. And, above all, there is hope.