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White Hunger

by Aki Ollikainen

Winter, 1867 in Northern Finland. Starvation forces a woman to leave her dying husband and go in search of food with her two young children. Along the way, she encounters the best and worst of humanity. Relentlessly bleak, this short tale of self-sacrifice and hope packs an almighty punch and demands of its reader a strong constitution.




Extract

Mataleena stares silently ahead. Her stomach is hurting. At first the pain pinches, but soon there is an angry cat scratching, scraping, sinking its teeth into the pit of her stomach. Claws push through to her ribs from inside and the animal mauls her so brutally that she starts to writhe. The cat raises its mangy tail and comes out of her mouth, bloody porridge. An angry hurricane blows in her head and hits her eyes, making them roll.
Translated by Emily Jeremiah

Parallels

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Winter Damage by Natasha Carthew
Far North by Marcel Theroux
 

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