BOMULLSÄNGELN – COTTON ANGEL
By Susanna Alakoski
In Cotton Angel we follow the story of young farmer’s daughter Hilda who is thrown out from her family’s comfortable homestead in Ostrobothnia, Finland, when her father finds out that she has fallen pregnant out of wedlock.
Hilda is forced to toil as a maid on a farm not far from her home. Here she meets the colourful and vibrant Helli and the two women become the very best of friends. They dream of a new life in the nearby city working at the great cotton factory.
Cotton will be their way out, at the same time a blessing and a new shackle.
ABOUT THE BOOK
First published by Natur & Kultur fall of 2019
RIGHTS SOLD TO
Denmark, Forlaget Amanda Books
The Netherlands, Uitgeverij Orlando
Sweden, Natur och Kultur
A literary masterpiece […] Perkele, what a fantastic novel Susanna Alakoski has written!
T T T T T – Tara
A poetic and very strong reading experience about struggle, women’s lives and Finland’s most violent history.
M M M M – M-magasin
Susanna Alakoski’s new literary project is as instantaneously tempting as it is ambitious. […] Alakoski takes a double grip, around the great story and the little life there within […] The take-off is wider than ever before, but Alakoski writes about her recognizable topics in her simple and concrete prose that she is known for. And it is as appealing as always. The literary feast has just begun.
Susanna Alakoski writes about love, desire and joy, and not only about exploitation and poor working conditions. Above all, she gives respect to those people that history books have left without name. Hilda is quietly portrayed in an exquisite way. […] Alakoski manages to introduce world political and economic events, that affect the worker’s, Hilda’s, life, in a natural way. All this put together makes me extremely expectant for the continuation of The Cotton Quartet. I didn’t have the slightest idea of how much I wanted to read about Hilda and her descendents. […] Susanna Alakoski has devoted her authorship to give a voice to the silent (and silenced).
Masterpiece about women who have been silenced […] Susanna Alakoski uses every word that fits in the work at the farm, all the tiresome labour that is demanded and every feeling that is hidden in the persons to give us a story that throbs, stings and aches. […] The tears are falling when I read Susanna Alakoski’s precise prose where she describes her grandmother’s life. Her musical story fills the empty space that has existed until now.
Susanna Alakoski impresses with unwritten women’s lives […] Susanna Alakoski follows the women with the eyes and the men are brought to life by the meetings with them. She is at her best when describing class and social injustices. There is the heat that keeps the first part in the series burning.
… a truly epic story, from an extensive research material, about the women of the poor Finland, about the wars that don’t stop and about the country’s way into the modernity. There’s an industrious and purposeful power when Alakoski writes her own working class literature, and it’s difficult to resist. […] the novel finds its way when Alakoski let the battle take place inside of her main character, she who prefers to write or just be surrounded by niceness and beauty after all the hard work. In Hilda’s silent shame for rather wanting to flip through glamorous magazines from Sweden than to strike for better conditions – in that shame there’s room for an entire century of social conflict.
Kulturnytt i P1
The timid and unassuming Hilda becomes the person who carries the story – she is thrown out from the farm, that she would have inherited, but keeps her childhood faith, her respect to the authorities and her aversion to making herself important.
A promising start to an epic series.
Alakoski’s epic poetry is raw and striking.
Alakoski depicts, sharp as a razor, how religion as well as the patriarchy and ravenous capitalism exploit their bodies, sexuality and labour. What the women can rely on is many times only the solidarity and cares from each other. Here Alakoski is clearly connecting to the women’s part of the working class literature, most clearly represented by Moa Martinsson.
It has potential to be as read and praised as Beyond (Svinalängorna).
Susanna Alakoski has created an impressive fictional work […] with an entrancing language and storytelling skill. Rating: 4 out of 5.
A well written, touching historical novel.
Well written story without embellishment and with a true feeling.
Cotton Angel by Susanna Alakoski is a thought provoking, historical novel with a marvelous language and a moving plot. […] Apart from being a very informative book, I found the novel exciting. Something always happens, big and small things; battles for women’s and workers’ rights, world war, love and death. I truly look forward to the next book! Rating: 4 out of 5.
I lose myself. In the language and the rich story. […] This is magnificent literature that deserves to be read by many, many.
It is beautiful and emotional without a single trace of drivel. It is great art, my friends. To write about nature and love in a way that feels new and moving, it is a privilege of few. […] And the parable to Fogelström? Yes, I can see how it came about, but do you know what? Susanna Alakoski is sharper and completely free from sentimentality. Thank you for that!