The Many Deaths of Irina (Irinan Kuolemat)


A short but probing novel about death and rebirth.

In winter 1944, Irina is sent out of bomb-damaged Helsinki to western Sweden as a war child. The blood-stained tragedy hangs over the journey. Adjusting to a new country and Swedish foster parents leads Irina out of the shadows of war and into the shadows of peace time and the private nightmare of a family weighed down by emotional wounds.

The Many Deaths of Irina is the story of people who are groping in the darkness for themselves and for one another. It’s a girl’s coming of age story and a penetrating probe into life’s secret areas, an account of inborn persistence and man’s undying hope, a brilliant analysis of the impossibility of returning to the past, and a beautiful tale of death and rebirth.




“The Many Deaths of Irina is a short but powerful study of what remains to an individual when everything is taken away, even her own feelings, sometimes a surprise door opens in even the most complete blackness. In place of lovely light and cooling waters, it opens to a space where something is located that we recognize as life.”