When the Doves Disappeared is a story of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Estonia during and after World War II. The novel follows the experiences of three characters: Roland, a principled independence fighter; his cousin Edgar, who will do almost anything to hide his secrets and maintain his connection to those in power; and Edgar’s wife Juudit, who is buffeted in turns by her love for a German officer, her fear of returning to her unhappy, unconsummated marriage, and her bond with the idealistic Roland.
When The Doves Disappeared is the third novel in The Estonian Quartet – a series depicting the division and annexation of Europe, and the consequences that reverberate from the 30s well into to the present.View Book
Sofi Oksanen’s bestselling novel Purge is a chilling drama of two generations of women. Set in the occupied Estonia of the 1940s and again in the same country fifty years later, the novel grapples with the realities of a new Europe. Narrated through a polyphonic choir of individual voices Purge tells the suspenseful and dramatic story of Aliide Truu, an old woman whose hands have been tarnished by the crimes she committed during the Soviet era. She is joined by Zara, a young trafficking victim seeking refuge at Aliide’s countryside home. As the two women grow closer and the links between them are revealed, a tragic and complex family drama of rivalry, lust and loss begins to unfold – a story with roots dating back to the worst years of the Soviet occupation.
Purge is the second novel in The Estonian Quartet – a series depicting the division and annexation of Europe through the eyes of the women who saw it happen. Their struggle for freedom and survival becomes synonymous with the fate of a nation buckling under the heavy hand of a repressive system.View Book
In this astonishing debut by a writer equipped with a rare storytelling genius, the lives of three women of different generations and societies – grandmother, mother, and daughter – serve as the uniting force of a highly unusual and powerful, epic narrative. In depicting the lives of Sofia, Katariina and Anna, whose stories unfold within communist Estonia, capitalist Finland, or both, Oksanen lets the entire 20th century flash before our eyes – while retaining a loving but firm grip on her characters and the bond between them.
Stalin’s Cows is Oksanen’s inexorable showdown with hypocrisy – the power of shame and feeling second-class, the harsh division between East and West, and the impossible feat of being a woman. The novel is also the first installment in The Estonian Quartet, which depicts the division of Europe and the consequences that reach from the 1930s into present day.View Book
When her mother suddenly dies in a suspicious accident, Norma Ross is left with no one. The two have been constant companions throughout her life, tied together by blood as well as a great secret. Inside of Norma an extraordinary magic is at work, and it has both blessed and cursed her with supernaturally fast-growing hair, sensitive to the slightest change of mood. All of her life Norma and her mother Anita have struggled to keep this secret, and protect Norma from those who would consider her a freak. Now after Anita’s death, photographs and videos in her home reveal that Norma’s mother knew far more about her daughter’s affliction than she let on.
To find the answer to who is responsible for her mother’s death, Norma begins to work at the same salon as Anita did. But just as Norma has her motives for taking the job, so do her employer and the patriarch of the family running the salon have theirs for bringing her into the fold. Trapped in a net of deceit and paranoia, Norma must fight for her freedom – and for the truth.View Book
Author Sofi Oksanen and musician Maija Kaunismaa began their collaboration in 2008 with the musical performance High Heels Society at the Koko Theatre in Finland. The sold-out performances demonstrated a huge demand for their bold and original feminist act. This lead to the duo continuing their collaboration and their most recent work is Too Short Skirt – Tales from the Kitchen – a collection of lyrics written by Sofi Oksanen with music composed by Maija Kaunismaa. In conjunction with the 2011 release of the lyrics and the double-CD, the suite will be staged at the National Theatre in Helsinki. In the performance, the different lyrical themes are fantastically reflected in the music: the cheated woman’s lust for revenge transforms into a waltz, liposuction becomes a jenka and physical abuse takes the shape of a fateful tango.View Book
What happened to Piki? The confident girl who always joked around, who hid everything that she wanted to be invisible inside. What made the coolest girl in town a prisoner in her own home, on the verge of starving to death?
In Baby Jane, the female narrator’s great love, Piki, isolates herself in her apartment. Suffering from severe anxiety hysteria, she is unable to deal even with the simplest of everyday chores. Piki’s illness is an unspeakable shame that she tries to hide even from those closest to her. Her girlfriends help and support her as much as they can, but the right words go in the wrong places, and the wrong ones in the right.View Book
In Sofi Oksanen’s The Dog Park, modern-day Helsinki intertwines with the past of Ukraine’s post-Soviet independence. The corruption of the East meets and feeds the greed of the West, and at this intersection stand two women. Their story of loyalty, love and broken trust play out against a backdrop of power struggles – between influential families, and between the sexes as the lifegiving ability of the female body becomes a lucrative commodity.
Oksanen moves between psychological thriller and the acutely human as she weaves a captivating narrative about a woman unable to escape the memory of her lost child, the powers that still hunt her, and the lies that saved her life. Sharply observant and a master of portraits, this time Oksanen turns her eye to the fertility business, illustrating the micro-realities of the international baby-making factories.
Co-commissioned by Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Dutch National Opera, Royal Opera House – Covent Garden, Finnish National Opera, and San Francisco Opera.
World premiere at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, summer 2020.
Innocence by Kaija Saariaho, the most popular contemporary woman composer in a world, is a new large-scale opera for symphonic forces and wide-ranging cast. It includes an original libretto by renowned Finnish writer Sofi Oksanen and will be sung in several different languages. A deeply moving opera which resonates with current concerns of humanity, it deals with how individuals, smaller groups and our society as a whole tackles recent traumas over time.
Further information about the artistic team will be publicised in due course. Innocence will be available for future productions from 2022.