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When the Doves Disappeared (2012)

When the Doves Disappeared is a riveting, chillingly relevant new novel of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Eastern Europe.

1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men have deserted the Red Army—Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar abandons his unhappy wife, Juudit, and takes on a new identity as a loyal supporter of the Nazi regime... 1963: Estonia is again under Communist control, independence even further out of reach behind the Iron Curtain. Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland’s, and with Juudit, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth...

Great acts of deception and heroism collide in this masterful story of surveillance, passion, and betrayal, as Sofi Oksanen brings to life the frailty—and the resilience—of humanity under the shadow of tyranny.

Rights sold to 30 countries.

What they’re saying about Doves

“Oksanen depicts civillian life in war time and under communist oppression in rich historical detail, skillfully manipulating chronology and threading clues subtly throughout the narrative as suspense builds. Highly recommended” —Library Journal (USA)

“This is powerful fiction that stirs history, war crimes and psychology into a compelling mix.” —Booklist (USA)

“With her new novel, Sofi Oksanen demonstrates that she belongs in the premier league of literature . . . In many ways it can be said to have a kinship with the great Russian classics.” —Dagsavisen (Norway)

“Oksanen’s new novel shows what fiction can be at its very best.” —Sydsvenskan (Sweden)

“An explosive text with a dark heart . . . At once a historical novel, a crime story, a psychological novel, a romance, a war novel, When the Doves Disappeared plays with blurring boundaries.” —Le Monde (France)

“Artistically impeccable . . . The plot creates an atmosphere like that of le Carré.” —Östgöta-Correspondenten (Sweden)

“Dazzling . . . When the Doves Disappeared confirms Sofi Oksanen’s talent and brings the destiny of this little-known corner of Europe into world literature.” —Le Point (France)

“An engaging and extraordinarily well-written novel about a dark time . . . Fascinating.” —Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

“’When the Doves Disappeared’ portrays with merciless logic and perception what happens when a society has lost its morals. // Few if any Nordic authors are capable of constructing a tale with the pure and stunning artistry of Sofi Oksanen.” – Arbetarbladet (Sweden)

“With her dense, rich prose, magnificent Sofi Oksanen earns a place somewhere between Quentin Tarantino and Leo Tolstoi.” – Klassekampen (Norway)

“Explosive text, with a black heart.” – Le Monde (France)

“A new gem from Oksanen.” – El Periòdico (Spain)

”Masterful dialogue combines with the work’s violent intensity and Oksanen’s ability to describe the internal turmoil of characters who are hurled about by the winds of history. These qualities make her novels unforgettable.” – Marianne (France)

“Juudit is perhaps Oksanen’s most complex character to date, one whom it is difficult to like but easy to understand.” – Sydsvenskan (Sweden)

”In Edgar Parts Oksanen has created an unsparingly charming, totally unprincipled and deeply frightening character.” — Uppsala Ny Tidning (Sweden)

"At hand is great drama that draws on the power of the word and at the same time an exciting multi-layered story about Estonia in the 1940s and 1960s ." - Anna (Finland)

"The message of this handsome play is the same as in Purge: truth is just a trade-off, and life, a big game of options" - Anna (Finland)

Available in these countries: Show BrazilShow BulgariaShow CanadaShow CroatiaShow Czech RepublicShow DenmarkShow EstoniaShow FinlandShow FranceShow FranceShow GeorgiaShow GermanyShow HungaryShow IcelandShow ItalyShow LatviaShow LithuaniaShow NetherlandsShow NorwayShow PolandShow RomaniaShow RussiaShow SloveniaShow SpainShow SpainShow SwedenShow The United StatesShow TurkeyShow UkraineShow United Kingdom

Canada

  • English: When the doves disappeared

    Translator: Lola Rogers

    Publisher: House of Anansi (2015)

The United States

  • English: When the Doves Disappeared

    ISBN: 9780385350174

    Publisher: Knopf (February 2015)

  • English: When the Doves Disappeared

    Audiobook

    ISBN: 9781101913406

    Translator: Lola Rogers

    Reader: Enn Reitel

    Publisher: Random House (2015)

United Kingdom

Brazil

  • Portuguese: Quando as pombas desapareceram

    Translator: Pasi Loman, Lilia Loman

    Publisher: Record (2016)

Bulgaria

  • Bulgarian: Когато гълъбите изчезнаха

    Hardcover

    Translator: Rositza Tzvetanova

    Publisher: Perseus (2014)

Croatia

Czech Republic

  • Czech: Čas ztracených holubic

    Hardcover

    Translator: Linda Dejdarová

    Publisher: Odeon-Euromedia Group (2013)

    Contact: odeon@euromedia.cz

Denmark

  • Danish: Da duerne forsvandt

    Translator: Birgita Bonde Hansen

    Publisher: Rosinante (2013)

    Contact: Info@rosinante-co.dk

Estonia

  • Estonian: Kui tuvid kadusid

    Translator: Jan Kaus

    Publisher: Varrak (2012)

    Contact: varrak@varrak.ee

Finland

  • Finnish: Kun kyyhkyset katosivat

    Hardcover

    Publisher: Like (August 31, 2012)

    Contact: Piia Väisänen

  • Finnish: Kun kyyhkyset katosivat

    Audiobook

    Publisher: Like Vox (September 2012)

    Contact: Piia Väisänen

  • Finnish: Kun kyyhkyset katosivat

    Pocket Book

    Publisher: Silberfeldt (2015)

France

  • French: Quand les colombes disparurent

    Translator: Sébastien Cagnoli

    Publisher: Stock (2013)

  • Occitan: Quora despareissèron lu colombs

    Translator: Sébastien Cagnoli, Miquèl de Carabatta

    Publisher: IEO-PACA (2013)

Georgia

  • Georgian: როცა მტრედები გაუჩინარდნენ

    Publisher: MTP (-)

Germany

  • German: Als die Tauben verschwanden

    Hardcover

    Translator: Angela Plöger

    Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch Verlag (2014)

Hungary

  • Hungarian: Mikor eltüntek galambok

    Translator: Bába Laura

    Publisher: Scolar (To be announced)

Iceland

  • Icelandic: Pegar dúfurnar hurfu

    Translator: Sigurður Karlsson Prýddi

    Publisher: Forlagið (2016)

    Contact: forlagid@forlagid.is

Italy

  • Italian: Quando i colombi scomparvero

    Translator: Nicola Rainò

    Publisher: Feltrinelli (2014)

Latvia

Lithuania

  • Lithuanian: Kai dingo balandžiai

    Translator: Danutė Sirijos Giraitė

    Publisher: Versus Aureus (2014)

    Contact: versus@versus.lt

Netherlands

  • Dutch: Als de duiven verdwijnen

    Translator: Marja-Leena Hellings

    Publisher: Ambo Anthos (2013)

    Contact: info@amboanthos.nl

Norway

  • Norwegian: Da duene forsvant

    Translator: Turid Farbregd

    Publisher: Oktober (2013)

    Contact: oktober@oktober.no

Poland

  • Polish: Gdy zniknęły gołębie

    Translator: Sebastian Musielak

    Publisher: Swiat Ksiazki (2015)

Romania

  • Romanian: Ziua cind au disparut porumbeii

    Translator: Sigrid Crăsnean

    Publisher: Polirom (2013)

Russia

  • Russian: Когда исчезли голуби (Kogda ischezly goluby)

    Translator: Anna Sidorova

    Publisher: Corpus (-)

Slovenia

  • Slovenian: Ko golobice izginejo

    Publisher: Beletrina (2016)

Spain

  • Catalan: Quan els coloms van desaparèixer

    Translator: Emma Claret & Eila Pyrhönen

    Publisher: La Magrana (2013)

  • Spanish: Cuando las palomas cayeron del cielo

    Hardcover

    Translator: Luisa Gutiérrez Ruiz

    Publisher: Salamandra (2013)

Sweden

  • Swedish: När duvorna försvann

    Translator: Janina Orlov

    Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag (2013)

    Contact: Martin Strömberg

Turkey

  • Turkish: To be announced

    Publisher: Pegasus (To be announced)

Ukraine

  • Ukrainian: Коли голуби зникли

    Publisher: Folio (2014)

Reviews

  • When the Doves Disappeared is powerful and convincing. Oksanen lives up to all the expectations… Oksanen unites political history, micro history, and fiction in an intelligent way. She explores how human kind adapts to ever-changing circumstances.
    — MTV3 (Finland)
  • The plot develops like a spy thriller about incredible personal relationships… The novel is characterized by the powerful portrayal of the spirit and aesthetics of three decades. The uncertainty, the desperation, as well as the atmosphere of ideals and selfishness are baffling. The trivial betrayals adopt human dimensions. The illustration of urban and rural areas is physically exact. /.../ As in Purge the mysteries take on a new meaning in the final pages of the book. The personal relations conceal truly poignant surprises. /.../ If she wanted, Oksanen could easily devote herself to writing thrillers. The intrigue of this novel is almost fastidiously intricate.
    — Demari (Finland)
  • Oksanen masterfully constructs her world; paranoia and fear drip like sweat from the pages.
    — Me Naiset (Finland)
  • More reviews...

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