Also By This Author
“[An] imaginative and engaging novel of urban fantasy. . . . Overlapping narrative voices nicely underscore the moral of Sinisalo’s ingeniously constructed fable: The stuff of ancient legend shadows with rather unnerving precision the course of unloosed postmodern desire.” Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post Book World
A Love Story
978-0-8021-4129-3 • $15.00 • Paperback • Apr. 2004
Winner of the Finlandia Award, Finland’s most prestigious literary award, Johanna Sinisalo’s U.S. debut novel is a fanciful tale of a fairy-tale animal who reveals the beast in ourselves
An enchanting novel that has become an international sensation, Troll recalls the unforgettable charm and otherworldly zoology of Rafi Zabor’s The Bear Comes Home and Steven Sherill’s The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break. Everyone has their rough nights, but things have clearly taken a turn for the surreal when Angel, a young photographer, ends a night of drinking and heartbreak by finding a group of drunken teenagers in the courtyard of his apartment building, taunting a young troll. Trolls are known in Scandinavian mythology as wild beasts like the werewolf, but this troll is just a small, wounded creature. Angel decides to offer it a safe haven for the night.
In the morning Angel thinks he dreamed it all. But he finds the troll alive, well, and drinking from his toilet. What does one do with a troll in the city? Angel begins researching frantically. Officially classified by scientists in 1907, trolls have long been thought practically extinct. Angel searches the Internet, folklore, nature journals, and newspaper clippingseven calling a veterinarian ex-boyfriend to find out what it will eatbut his research doesn’t tell him that trolls exude pheromones that smell like a Calvin Klein aftershave and that this has a profound aphrodisiac effect on all those around him. Shooting an assignment for the ultrahip “Stalker” brand jeans, Angel finds that Martes, the advertising art director who previously jilted him, suddenly finds him irresistible, and in general he has gone from being the brokenhearted to the heartbreaker. As Angel’s life changes beyond recognition, it becomes clear that the troll is familiar with the man’s most forbidden feelings, and that it may take him across lines he never thought he’d cross.
A novel of sparkling originality, Troll is a wry, peculiar, and beguiling story of nature and man’s relationship to wild things, and of the dark power of the wildness in ourselves.
• Troll: A Love Story was originally translated from Ennen Päivänlaskua Ei Voi in Finland, and published in the United Kingdom by Peter Owen under the title Not Before Sundown.
• Troll has been translated into six languages.