Heavenly Reception

Author Jan Holm is undergoing urgent surgery: the blood in his heart has been circulating in the wrong direction for who knows how long. After leaving the hospital, Holm publishes a personal novel about and of which everyone will soon have an opinion.

Heavenly Reception is an undisciplined account of loneliness, a life-threatening illness and the reception of the novel. It’s a novel of a thousand subjects and persons with a strong personal core, a commentary, research, glossary, feedback and google search, a wild explanation work and, above all, a polyphonic story about the readers of Helsinki who in return tell about the events in their lives and reading Heavenly Reception. Their comments, whims and views swirl in the work. Together, they create a multi-threaded world where core themes are mortality and sexuality, a longing for beauty and affection, but also cryptocurrency mining and octopuses, violent YouTube videos or the death of author Holm do find their mention.

Author Jan Holm is undergoing urgent surgery: the blood in his heart has been circulating in the wrong direction for who knows how long. After leaving the hospital, Holm publishes a personal novel about and of which everyone will soon have an opinion.

Heavenly Reception is an undisciplined account of loneliness, a life-threatening illness and the reception of the novel. It’s a novel of a thousand subjects and persons with a strong personal core, a commentary, research, glossary, feedback and google search, a wild explanation work and, above all, a polyphonic story about the readers of Helsinki who in return tell about the events in their lives and reading Heavenly Reception. Their comments, whims and views swirl in the work. Together, they create a multi-threaded world where core themes are mortality and sexuality, a longing for beauty and affection, but also cryptocurrency mining and octopuses, violent YouTube videos or the death of author Holm do find their mention.

info

  • Year of publication

    2021

  • Original title

    Taivaallinen vastaanotto

  • Page count

    377

  • Original publisher

    Otava Publishing Company

  • Original language of publication

    Finnish

Reviews

  • Vesa Rantama, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

    "The Book Year has been surprisingly good, but it is clear that one of its attractions is at hand. As my novel character says: 'Potential works have been thought to behave like real works, with the difference that the memory they produce is more fragile, brighter, and more beautiful.´"

  • Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

    “Because the novel has its own reception, praises itself eloquently, and gathers a shimmering, virtual work alongside an analogue book, as a critic, it makes sense to loosen the tie for once and just cover up everything that can be found here. Only rarely do you come across equally experimental, hard-to-define works that are always easy and enjoyable to read. The equivalent can be found in translated literature of recent years: Lincoln in the Bardo, placed in the post-death space of the American George Saunders, is an obvious relative work with its many intersecting speakers."

  • Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

    "As a Finlandia award-winning author, expectations are high, and Viikilä manages to respond to them in the only right way: by doing something completely different, a novel that reads itself and even its readers."

  • Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

    "Random quotes reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's prose and perhaps dictionary definitions left over from previous productions have been sprinkled here and there for Heavenly Reception, like this: 'PETER SELLERS An example of a contemporary genius with nothing to give to the afterlife.'"

  • Finlandia prize Jury 2021

    “The Heavenly Reception reflects on the roles of the author and reader, writing and reading. The book reads itself, anticipates its reception, and shows how we always read through our own experiences. Built from the perspective of numerous speakers, the work is polyphonic and fragmented. The sentences are aphoristic and airy. One would like to underline something on every page. The work challenges the traditional form of a novel but keeps the reader in its grip until the end.”

  • Vesa Rantama - Helsingin Sanomat

    "Rarely do you come across works that are equally experimental and hard-to-define, that are as easy to read and enjoyable all the way through."

Awards & Nominations

Awards

  • Finlandia Prize

    2021

Nominations

  • Finlandia Prize

    2021

Quote

Authors