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Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and Percival Everett's Telephone has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The Colonel's Wife

A Novel
Rosa Liksom, Translated from the Finnish by Lola Rogers
In the final twilit moments of her life, an elderly woman looks back on her years in the thrall of fascism and Nazism. Both her authoritarian tendencies and her ecstatic engagement with the natural world are vividly and terrifyingly evoked in The Colonel’s Wife, an astonishing and brave novel that resonates painfully with our own strained political moment.

At once complex and hideous, sexually liberated and sympathetic to the darkest of political movements, the narrator describes her childhood as the daughter of a member of the right-wing Finnish Whites before World War II, and the way she became involved with and eventually married the much older Colonel, who was thirty years her senior. During the war, he came and went as they fraternized with the Nazi elite and retreated together into the deepest northern wilds. As both the marriage and the war turn increasingly dark and destructive, Rosa Liksom renders a complex and unsavory character in a prose style that is striking in its paradoxical beauty. The Colonel’s Wife is both a brilliant portrayal of an individual psychology and a stark warning about the perils of nationalism.

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A bold and dark-hued novel by a writer who “conjures beauty from the ugliest of things” (The Wall Street Journal)

About the Author

Rosa  Liksom
Credit: Pekka Mustonem
Rosa Liksom was born in a village of eight houses in Lapland, Finland, where her parents were reindeer breeders and farmers. She spent her youth traveling Europe, living as a squatter and in communes. She paints, makes films, and writes in Helsinki.
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Lola Rogers is the translator of The Colonel’s Wife and Compartment No. 6 by Rosa Liksom. She has translated Finnish novels by Riikka Pulkkinen and Sofi Oksanen, among others. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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  • “A chilling yet necessary book.”—The Star Tribune
  • “All the more thought-provoking and heart-rending in our current strained sociopolitical moment. . . . The Colonel’s Wife is equal parts horrifying and fascinating.”
  • “Liksom’s novel memorably combines transportive prose and her narrator’s stark perspective.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “An intimate investigation of authoritarianism.”Kirkus Reviews
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