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Stalin's Cows (2003)

Extremely powerful debut about three generations of women, separated from each other by the force of politics, war, love and illness.

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Reviews

  • Sofi Oksanen confirms that she belongs in the premier league of European literature… Greatly recommended.
    — Fyens Stiftstidene (Denmark)
  • Oksanen is not the first to write about life behind the Iron Curtain, but she surely is one of the best.
    — FÆDRELANDSVENNEN (Norway)
  • Sofi Oksanen is a grim realist with the chilling opinion that history is fate. /…/ Stalin’s Cows is yet another dazzling verification of the young Finnish-Estonian writer’s greatness. And she has been great for a long time.
    — Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)
  • She has an amazing narrative voice. / Sofi Oksanen is from time to time reminiscent of Marguerite Duras…
    — Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
  • If you think bulimia and modern Estonian history isn’t highly fascinating, then think again. This is the strongest debut in a long, long time. /…/ The story is strong and Oksanen moves closely to what is happening. It is concrete up to the point of being brutal, it is unsentimental but simultaneously sensual. /…/ Stalinin lehmätis a book, which really shakes the heart and stomach of the reader as he, at the same time, paints a picture of Europe’s history in the centuries of extremism. With Sofi Oksanen, it is not just Finland who has gained a great new author, but also Scandinavia.
    — Nrk (Norway)
  • …A furious brick. /…/ Oksanen is not just right and easy-going, but relentless and grimly detailed. /…/ The novel has a raging, tremendous ambition and a dramatic acuteness that I like very much.
    — Aftonbladet (Sweden)
  • Oksanen’s prose is naked, furious, despairing. /…/ In a pendulum movement, unrhythmical and self-willed, Oksanen describes a crisis filled youth that may come across as an accusation. /…/ powerful and wound-covered.
    — Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
  • An overwhelming experience.
    — Salon Seudun Sanomat (Finland)
  • Stalin's Cows is a bold, honest and profound analysis of the female physicalness.
    — Hämeen Sanomat (Finland)
  • In Stalinin lehmät, we are drawn into a world where history, culture and personal experiences are written together with a sure stylistic truth and effect. /…/ The bodily presence in this text is impressive. /…/ Oksanen manages, in a cunning way, to create suspense in the novel, which is not entirely easy to define. Meanwhile, Oksanen draws pictures of connections in which the most intimate experiences and conditions governing one’s life are written in politics and cultural structures, in a way which only driven authors can master.
    — Klassekampen (Norway)