The Bystander is a journey of one year in a life of its writer. When the narrators debut novel is
published, she feels like everything has changed. Strangely enough no one else seems to notice this. The Bystander is a sharp story of a woman with a looming fear of being invisible, need to achieve, relentless chase for being heard. In addition to pointing out the problems of the art criticism and literary world itself, the novel speaks about the loneliness and being a bystander in 21 st century. It asks urgent questions about identity and family, but refuses to give any simple answers.
At the same time ironic and earnest, the novel burrows into the issues of art, existence, social norms and unconventional choices. The text glows in the depiction of everyday details: watering the house plants, riding a bike and cooking noodles. It shifts between fiction and reality, mixing shame and self-contemptuous humour with sharp narration.
Chillingly ironic, crunching depiction of the today’s world and the female position on it. Talentedly constructed artist novel with lean and precise sentences and an autobiographical voice that turns many times into essay-like narration.
”The Bystander is an important contemporary portrait of the structures of patriarchy, of how difficult it still is for a young woman to choose otherwise, to take control of one’s own life. […] The narration of The Bystander glows in the depiction of everyday details.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland
“The novel is harrowing, emotional, fresh, original, fun and thought-provoking.”– Ilta-Sanomat newspaper, Finland
"The Bystander is a chillingly ironic, crunching depiction of art and publicity in the 21st century.” – Aamulehti newspaper, Finland
RIGHTS SOLD: SWEDEN, Wahlström & Widstrand
Awards: Helsinki City Art Prize 2018