Look inside: an extract from Land of Snow and Ashes by Petra Rautiainen
Posted 7th February 2022
Land of Snow and Ashes by Petra Rautiainen (translated by David Hackston) publishes today with Pushkin Press.
In Finnish Lapland, 1944, a young soldier is called to work as an interpreter at a Nazi prison camp. Surrounded by cruelty and death, he struggles to hold onto his humanity.
A few years later, in peacetime, journalist Inkeri is assigned to investigate the rapid development of remote Western Lapland. Finding a small community riven with tension and suspicious of outsiders, Inkeri slowly begins to uncover traces of silenced history and ongoing oppression in the beautiful and stark landscape.
Start reading the book below…
I arrived in Inari yesterday, transferred from the penal colony at Hyljelahti. This new camp isn’t marked on Finnish maps. It lies about twenty kilometres to the north-east of Inari parish church. The lake is nearby. There is no proper road to speak of, and as you turn towards the camp two large trees hide everything from view. By the trees there are a couple of signposts informing us in German and Inari Sámi that trespassing is punishable by death—Sámi because anyone hiking around here is likely a Lapp trekking across the fells. Whether or not they can read is anybody’s guess.