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Synopsis

One night at Trieste in September 1943 a seriously wounded soldier is found on the quay. The doctor, of a newly arrived German hospital ship gives the unconscious soldier medical assistance. His new patient has no documents or anything that can identify him. When he regains consciousness he has lost his memory and cannot even remember what language he speaks. From a few things found on the man the doctor, who is originally from Finland, believes him to be a sailor and a fellow countryman, who somehow or other has ended up in Trieste. The doctor dedicates himself to teaching the man Finnish, beginning the reconstruction of the identity of Sampo Karjalainen, leading the missing man to return to Finland in search of his identity and his past. Maranis miraculous novel is profound, moving, elusive and tragic. Eileen Battersby Books of the Year in The Irish Times 'Beautifully written and translated, and beautifully original.' Kate Saunders in The Times " an entrancing, disturbing exploration of the limits of speech and self." Boyd Tonkin in The Independent

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