A secluded volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Its 264 inhabitants living from sheep farming and fishing, in a community where everyone is connected in one way or another.

And a volcano waking up, on the quiet.

Life on the small Tristan da Cunha seems peaceful and mellow but some inhabitants long for adventures elsewhere. Like Lars who has left behind his wife and son, travelled to London and fallen in love with a local carefree florist.

On the black sand of Tristan, the little Jon is squinting toward the horizon, hoping to see his father’s ship returning.

When Lars hears the news of the volcanic eruption on Tristan, he knows he has to head back. But the idyll on the island has cracked, and the hidden web of cruel , hatred, loss and secrets is starting to unravel.

This is a story of an island which is both a prison and a paradise. It’s a story of the islanders, their lives and passions, their leaving and returning. It’s a story where distances are either too small or too large, but where people are still inevitably drawn to their roots.

With strongly atmospheric language and dazzling metaphors; with sensitive, vivid and immersive narration, Marianna Kurtto masterfully conveys the story using several points-of-view and flashbacks between the 1950s and 60s.



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  • Nordic Council Literature Prize 2019


"One of the strengths of the narrative style of Tristania is the development of the story through the creative use of flashbacks and flashforwards. The novel moves with the people, and constantly takes unexpected turns. The narrative style rewards the reader by solving the problems and unknotting the jumble of human relationships. The novel is supported all the way through by language that reveals a love of inventive similes and metaphors which add a lyrical element to the work."
Nordic Council Literature jury
"Unique style [...] 300 pages of beauty. [...] Rhythmically calm, yet you can feel the lava, bubbling beneath".
Aamulehti newspaper
"Marianna Kurtto´s first novel is a masterful and self-assured work of art with a most engaging atmosphere."