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Core of the Sun
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
From the author of the Finlandia Award-winning novel "Troll: A Love Story," "The Core of the Sun" further cements Johanna Sinisalo s reputation as a master of literary speculative fiction and of her country s unique take on it, dubbed Finnish weird. Set in an alternative historical present, in a eusistocracy an extreme welfare statethat holds public health and social stability above all else, it follows a young woman whose growing addiction to illegal chili peppers leads her on an adventure into a world where love, sex, and free will are all controlled by the state. The Eusistocratic Republic of Finland has bred a new human sub-species of receptive, submissive women, called "eloi," for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are relegated to menial labor and sterilized so that they do not carry on their "defective" line. Vanna, raised as an eloi but secretly intelligent, needs money to help her doll-like sister, who has disappeared. Vanna forms a friendship with a man named Jare, and they become involved in buying and selling a stimulant known to the Health Authority to be extremely dangerous: chili peppers. Then Jare comes across a strange religious cult in possession of the Core of the Sun, a chili so hot that it is rumored to cause hallucinations. Does this chili have effects that justify its prohibition? How did Finland turn into the North Korea of Europe? And will Vanna succeed in her quest to find her sister, or will her growing need to satisfy her chili addiction destroy her? Johanna Sinisalo s tautly told story of fight and flight is also a feisty, between-the-lines social polemica witty, inventive, and fiendishly engaging read."
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mreads
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Mehso-so

A bit shorter it would be a pick. #WITmonth
Finnish dystopian novel set in the current day but about a 100 yrs ago there was selective breeding of women to be submissive, (eloi) for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are relegated to menial labor and sterilized.(Morlocks) We follow Vanna raised as an eloi but secretly intelligent whose growing addiction to illegal chili peppers leads her on an adventure.
#booked2019

Cinfhen Hmmmmmm....Interesting 😜 5mo
49 likes2 comments
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kindergartenkat
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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"I feel no pain, for the chile is my teacher."
#womenintranslation

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Viji
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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One of the blurbs on the back: “will appeal to dystopia lovers and fans of darkly offbeat suspense.”

Leniverse I had Troll: A Love Story recommended to me earlier this year, as a sort of Finnish Weird that might appeal to me. 😆 I haven't read it though, I forgot all about it. ☺️ 2y
ohyeahthatgirl I loves this book! Really different. 2y
azulaco I loved this book! It‘s one of the favorite books that I read this year. 2y
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Johanna414 This sounds so bizarre! I always get really excited when I see authors with my name though, since I rarely come across it here in the US 2y
Viji @Johanna414 , I have to admit I Litsy-stalked you after I saw your comment. I was trying to figure out where you live but wasn‘t able to. I do know you‘re the same age as my daughter who is also expecting her second and you have a black cat like mine 😌 2y
Johanna414 @Viji I‘m in rural western New York - the Buffalo area. But I‘m named after a German great grandmother. How exciting you‘re getting another grandchild! And we are partial to black cats, even if mine is a little clingy since we had our son 2y
Viji @johanna414, congratulations on your second baby! 2y
KimM I loved this one ❤️ 2y
79 likes8 stack adds8 comments
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Bertha_Mason
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
Bailedbailed

A fucking mess. Racism, transphobia, ableism, transmisogyny, general misogyny, wholesale acceptance of various eugenicist myths about genetics (gender variance as genetic; queerness and transness as genetic and eradicable by eugenic means; "intelligence" as genetic; "submissiveness" as genetic). Violent erasure of the racist violence at the core of fascism. A total fucking waste of paper.

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Bertha_Mason
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo

"Minus men," insufficiently masculine, are also automatically less intelligent. Because genetics. Transmisogyny adds extra spice to the author's internalized misogyny. Just ONE MORE fucked up thing needs to be embedded in this story for me to call it quits. I bought the fucking book, or I wouldn't have stayed even this long.

Bertha_Mason Aaaaand a character is "genetically" good at gardening because his face kind of looks like the author's idea of an Indigenous North American person's face. I'm out. 2y
batsy Yikes 😡 2y
2 likes2 comments
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Bertha_Mason
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo

I'm bored to death of hearing about "elois." I want to hear about the enslaved underclass of "morlocks" and "minus men" who aren't allowed to reproduce. I want to hear about ANYONE who's non-white, queer, trans, and/or gender-variant beyond "she played with trucks as a kid and likes science." I want to hear how THEY live and resist, not more about how "elois" live and don't resist. FOR FUCK'S SAKE, YOU BURIED THE GOOD STORY.

Bertha_Mason AND FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODDESS, LEARN HOW GENETICS WORK. 2y
Bertha_Mason AND STOP. COMPARING. WHITE. WOMEN. TO. AFRICAN. SLAVES. 2y
3 likes2 comments
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Bertha_Mason
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo

Its analysis is starting to read really simplistic, like something I might have written at age sixteen after reading The Second Sex. I really hope it surprises me. I also hope it actually explicitly addresses the racial politics of what seems to be a white ethnostate. At some fucking point.

Bertha_Mason The author compared cross-dressing to blackface. It isn't looking good. :/ 2y
2 likes1 comment
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Bertha_Mason
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo

I really hope it doesn't get TERFy. I'm secularly praying hard.

batsy I'm going to have to borrow "secularly praying hard" ? 2y
2 likes2 comments
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The.Intentional.Reader
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

This book was caliente! A very Finnish look at a dystopian future where women serve as nothing more than eye candy & baby makers. Alcohol, tobacco and drugs are eradicated and the chili pepper serves as the source of illegal, illicit highs. Deep down this is a story about society, culture, gender roles, conformity, addiction and yes...chili peppers. Think Handmaid's tale with chili peppers

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The.Intentional.Reader
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Started this one this morning. Handmaids Tale-ish with chili peppers 🌶.

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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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April reading. I read about half of my intended list, but got distracted by a number of library holds that came in all at once. Plus I HAD to reread The Handmaid's Tale, since the series is on now. Respectable reading month, but my TBR pile needs some attention. 😟 #BestofApril was definitely The Core of the Sun. #aprilbookshowers

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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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I'm still thinking about this book. This paragraph gave me chills. It sounds unsettlingly like what's been happening in the US recently.

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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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For those who are doing #popsugar2017, I just realized that this book fit the task for genre/sub genre I had never heard of before: Finnish Weird (suomikumma). That is an genre descriptor that some Finnish authors use for their work that blurs the lines between fantasy, sci-fi, and just plain weird. I thought it might be helpful info for some of you other Littens.
There's an online site devoted to Finnish Weird: http://www.finnishweird.net.

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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Only eight days behind. Better late than never! #apriltbr #aprilbookshowers

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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

This book was right up my alley. Dystopian society that crosses Margaret Atwood with H.G. Wells, secret resistance, and just a little bit of weirdness - black market in chili peppers!? The scariest part is the interspersed "scientific articles," which are frighteningly plausible. Many are adapted from in-vogue eugenic theories of the early 20th century. (FYI, the article on sterilization was *actually published* in the 1930s.) Fascinating read.

Nute I purchased this book or I almost purchased it at the beginning of the year. I can't remember the outcome. I remember carrying it around in the store trying to make a decision on which books to get, but did it remain in the 'yes' pile or was it returned to shelf. Your comments have me intrigued. It sounds like my kind of story. Today might be spent doing a book hunt amongst my bookshelves. 3y
azulaco @Nute I don't know if it'll be to everyone's taste, but I really liked it. The writing was so good. Often, books suffer in translation, but either the translator was really talented, or the writing was just so good in the original Finnish that translation couldn't spoil it. The English version wasn't dry or stilted at all. 3y
12 likes1 stack add2 comments
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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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I'm going back a few days to pick up the #womenintranslation prompt for #aprilbookshowers, because this book is so good! It's kind of a Finnish take on The Handmaid's Tale, without the religious element. I'm very sad that my work schedule kept me from reading much last week, but I am settling in tonight. Grateful for the task in the Seasonal Reading Challenge on Goodreads that directed me to read a book by a Finnish author. #srcspring2017

19 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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I just started this one and I'm already enthralled. Can't wait to get further into it! #srcspring2017 #aroundtheworldin80books

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azulaco
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Plans for tomorrow: go get a library card in the county that is literally five minutes away from where I live in my county, so I can plunder their libraries and Overdrive too, in addition to my county's system. I can't believe I've been in this house 5 years and just thought of this. Duh. Pretty excited to access an additional library system. 📚😀📚#aroundtheworldin80books #srcspring2017

Lacythebookworm Great idea! 😊 3y
azulaco @Lacythebookworm There are five or six local county and city systems I could probably get a card for under reciprocity agreements...might be worth it just for the additional e-book holdings. 🤔 But also for tracking down hard copy books when necessary. Like, this county where I just signed up is the only one locally where I found this book, Core of the Sun. I was specifically looking for this book, and I'm thrilled that I won't have to buy it. 3y
19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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wordsofbek
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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I figured that out at about 18. And in construction it has given me at least an hour more sleep a day 😀

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wordsofbek
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Love, love, loving this book. Can't wait to finish the Finnish Noir!

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KimM
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

Gingerkitty highly recommends this book to fans of The Handmaids Tale. From the back cover: "The Eusistocratic Republic of Finland has bred a new human subspecies of receptive, submissive women, called eloi, for sex and procreation, while intelligent, independent women are sterilized." Well-written speculative fiction very much in the same vein as Atwood. Plus addictive chili peppers ? (Look carefully at the cover)

RanaElizabeth Loved this book, really original for a genre that can feel tired. 3y
KimM Agreed @RanaElizabeth I'm hoping for a sequel. 3y
Laalaleighh Stacked 📚 3y
21 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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RanaElizabeth
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

Seriously no idea what's going on in this book except it's awesome and terrifying. Handmaid's Tale plus chili pepper addiction. If you like your world-building on the dystopia-masquerading-as-utopia spectrum, this is for you. Plus, the author is Finnish so whee! First of 195 down!
Full review over on Goodreads.
#readingaroundtheworld

RiotMom This sounds awesome! 3y
tricours I think I read something really weird by Suinisalo 15 years ago, about a troll! 3y
RanaElizabeth @tricours Yep, that was her first and most well-known book. 3y
Lacythebookworm This is definitely in my wheelhouse! 🙌 3y
79 likes13 stack adds4 comments
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Moray_Reads
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Panpan

Finland is an eusistocratic dystopia where feminine women are domesticated for breeding and non-feminine women are sterilised. It's been touted as A Handmaid's Tale with a dash of Finnish Weird. Except here we have clunky exposition, a paper-thin plot, characters that are just cyphers and a presentation of gender roles that I found deeply problematic. Atwood it ain't.

cathysaid I like how you used "eusistocratic" and "Atwood it ain't" in the same review ? 3y
Moray_Reads @cathysaid 😂 I see what you mean. Slightly uneven tone 3y
saresmoore I love this review! Won't be reading the book, though. 😏 3y
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Moray_Reads @saresmoore Thanks. I don't really like to pan a book but I felt let down by this. I didn't really expect another Handmaid but The Core of the Sun seemed to perpetuate gender stereotypes under the guise of challenging them. Maybe I just missed something! 3y
saresmoore Actually, I think that's pretty common. At least it's common in everyday human conversation to perpetuate stereotypes while "challenging" them. I don't know if you've watched any Seinfeld, but there's an episode that broaches the subject of homosexuality with the repeated caveat, "Not that there's anything wrong with that." All that is to say, I think you probably *didn't* miss anything. 3y
Moray_Reads @saresmoore This seemed to me to suggest that women can be one or the other, smart, independent and completely uninterested in everything usually seen as feminine or ditsy, submissive and super feminine. Why can't I like tea parties AND fire trucks? 3y
saresmoore And really, who doesn't like tea parties and fire trucks? That is frustrating. The book I just finished actually said a lot about the complexity of gender roles from the perspective of an ancient Chinese minority culture, without stating anything explicitly. Maybe this book was just too overt. Handmaid's Tale is certainly not subtle, but it's nuanced and deep. 3y
32 likes7 comments
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TieDyeDude
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Thanks, Leigh at #bklynbookmatch for the recommendations at #brlive

outis All great choices! 3y
Shortstack Core of the Sun is soooooo good! 3y
13 likes2 comments
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meghanforrest
Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

Awesome book to read on a lazy Sunday - a feminist dystopia by a Finnish Weird author, where people get addicted to hot chili peppers, funny and thought-provoking.

OutlandishLit Welcome to litsy!! 3y
MrBook Nice review and pic!!Welcome to @Litsy ! We hope you enjoy your stay, I think you'll like it here 😎👍🏻. 3y
meghanforrest Thank you! 3y
4 likes3 comments
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she_barks
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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If I read fast and drink slow I can finish these at the same time.

ThursdayN I loved hers "Not before sundown"! 3y
she_barks @ThursdayN good to know! I really liked this. Translated feminist weird science fiction thriller.you don't see that every day! 3y
ThursdayN 👍 ☺️ 3y
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LiteraryinLititz What a bizarre and creative premise! Not sure it's my cup of tea, but it's cool to know about it. :) 3y
Shortstack Did you become as obsessed with this as I did? 3y
Kleonard Love that Mug. @she_barks ! ❤️ 3y
78 likes6 stack adds6 comments
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she_barks
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Would it be bad if I asked the people at the pool to keep it down so I can read?

81 likes4 comments
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outis
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

Truly bizarre, but so much more than that. Sinister, infuriating and uniquely creative - I'm sure this book will stay on my mind for a while. And I'll never look at chili peppers the same way again.... 🌶🌶🌶

4 likes1 stack add
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TheBookDream
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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#DiversityMonday (a day late) #Translatedbooks
I would like to think religion is more than this, but sometimes I feel this book is right.

9 likes1 stack add
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outis
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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So how's this for an alternate ending to Little Red Riding Hood? (Um, no. No way.) Just a peek into the truly disturbing world Sinasalo has created in this one.

Megabooks You know, that's not the worst fate! 3y
3 likes2 comments
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TheBookDream
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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About to start paying rental fees...it's a wonder libraries don't lock up when they see me coming.

BookBabe 😛 3y
BookishFeminist ? i know the feeling! My libraries get a healthy "donation" every year. 3y
14 likes2 comments
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outis
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Up next. I didn't love Troll: A Love Story, but this one sounds promising.

MrBook Always good to give an author another try 😊👍🏻. 3y
outis @MrBook So funny you said that. After I posted this I started thinking about other authors who should get a second chance. Jesse Ball might be next (I nearly hated Silence Once Begun, but How To Set a Fire and Why looks intriguing).... 3y
MrBook 😎 3y
2 likes1 stack add3 comments
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TheBookDream
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Reading between turns in a 6 person game of Star Fluxx!

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SarahEvonne
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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Pickpick

Just translated into English from Finnish, Sinisalo's novel is a terrifying and surreal take on the strict gender roles in an alternate Finland in the very near future. Feminism & chili peppers abound.

6 likes1 stack add
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SarahEvonne
The Core of the Sun | Johanna Sinisalo
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It's comparable to Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale? Sign me up.