One of the classics of twentieth century fantasy, from an iconic Finnish writer. The reports back from a strange and fascinating city called Tainaron, complete with talking insects and an unnamed narrator who is far from home.
Leena Krohn (1947 – ) is one of the most respected Finnish writers of her generation. In her large body of work for adults and children, Krohn deals with issues related to the boundary between reality and illusion, artificial intelligence, and issues of morality and conscience. Her short novel Tainaron: Mail from Another City was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award in 2005. Tainaron shares some affinities with the work of Kafka, while being utterly original. Each section of the novel illuminates the next, with the weird element serving both as strange adventure and parallel to the real world. It is one of the most important works of post-World War II dark fantasy.
“…her elegiac linguistic melodies enthrall the mind’s ear, evoking as well bittersweet intimations of immortality more lovely, dangerous and disturbing than any realistic voice might utter.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“… reads not so much as New Weird but as an unclassifiable wonder, escaping definitions and sub-genres both old and new.” – The Internet Review of Science Fiction
“Tainaron is a fascinating little book and a welcome introduction to a fine writer.”- Emerald City
“… shows Krohn at the height of her powers. Her use of language is transparent, cool, reserved even, leaving the reader the necessary space for personal reflection and interpretation.” - Fili: Finish Literature Exchange
“The novel contains scenes of startling beauty and strangeness that change how the reader sees the world. Krohn effortlessly melds the literal with the metaphorical, so that the narrator’s exploration of the city through its inhabitants encompasses both the speculation of science fiction and the resonant symbolism of the surreal.”- Locus
“Leena Krohn has, with a slim volume of thirty letters written from an imaginary city of insects, given us a lens of words through which to consider reality, a microscope to reveal yearning and wonder, a telescope to look for what it means to be human, a window and a mirror and an eye other than our own.” – Matthew Cheney (from his afterword)