The Winter War (soft cover)
Antti Tuuri’s The Winter War is the novelist’s sincere tribute to the Finnish soldiers of the Winter War, the 105-day war following Russia’s invasion of Finland in November of 1939. Events are seen through the eyes of Martti Hakala, now an old man, who had been a rank-and-file soldier of the 23rd Infantry regiment, a unit drawn mainly from the province of Ostrobothnia. Like so many of his countrymen, Matti was called up to defend his country in this national emergency.
The Winter War is based on authentic war diaries, interviews with veterans, and other first-hand sources. It is not, however, a documentary. It depicts the reactions of ordinary men to extraordinary circumstances, and what happens to these men when prolonged exposure to violent death and destruction creates an alternative reality, nightmarish and inescapable.
Richard Impola’s English rendering of the text recreates the terse, succinct “Hemingway” style for which Tuuri is famous. Tuuri’s spare realism is a quiet voice in the thunderous theater of war.
Pekka Parikka’s celebrated film The Winter War (1988) was inspired by Tuuri’s novel. In fact, the first film made about this epic struggle, it was scripted by Antti Tuuri and Pekka Parikka, and produced by Marko Röhr.