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My Friend Natalia by Laura Lindstedt
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My Friend Natalia

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My Friend Natalia by Laura Lindstedt
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Mar 23, 2021 | ISBN 9780593408315 | 402 Minutes

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Praise

Sly, intriguing…. The deeper, indeed more layered, mystery is, it emerges, the novel’s chimerical narrator.—Hermione Hoby, New York Times Book Review

This provocative Finnish author enters the fray of American literature (thanks to translation from David Hackston) with a racy, wonderfully weird novel about a therapist’s sessions with a sex-obsessed woman.—Seija Rankin, Entertainment Weekly, “Best New Books of March”

Lindstedt’s novel reads like the love child of a pornographer and a high theorist: Derrida meets Anaïs Nin. Ultimately, this is as much a novel about language as it is about sexuality or psychology, and translator Hackston has performed a virtuosic task capturing the Finnish pyrotechnics in English. Lindstedt may not be looking to make an exact analogy between the work of therapy and the work an artist does, but it’s hard not to read this as an ars poetica: ‘If you talk a lot,’ the therapist says, ‘the sorrow might permanently change shape.’ Bawdy and beguiling.—Kirkus Reviews

Throughout the novel, Natalia riffs on Sartre, Beauvoir, and others, baiting the psychologist with sexually charged critiques of patriarchal philosophy.—Publishers Weekly

I was tremendously impressed by My Friend Natalia. . . . Laura Lindstedt has a very Finnish take on sophistication (downbeat, deadpan), is disconcerting, dissonant, peerless in deferred resolution, a blithe dissolver of the regular association of ideas. Why did I not use lockdown to learn Finnish? Why? —Helen DeWitt

Smart, dark, funny, and weirdly exhilarating, Laura Lindstedt’s My Friend Natalia is both pitched on the brink and absolutely alive. An absorbing discourse of sex, power, and boundaries, in sentences that lift like music. —Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World

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