The Love Story of the Century


By: Märta Tikkanen

Translated by Stina Katchadourian

A classic Swedish-Finnish novel, haunting, profoundly personal, evocative novel, written in verse, dissecting one woman’s fraught relationship with her alcoholic husband.

Published: February 4, 2020

Paperback: 9781941920930




Hailed an immediate classic of Finnish literature on its publication in 1978 and an international bestseller that has been translated into 19 languages, Märta Tikkanen’s verse novel is a haunting, profoundly evocative portrait of one woman’s fraught relationship with her alcoholic husband, inspired by the author’s own experience. In language that is as delicate as it is fierce, Tikkanen explores the depths of fear and violence that often accompany addiction and the struggle to reconcile that pain with the deep love and strength necessary to hold a family together through it all. As much a story of resilience as it is suffering, The Love Story of the Century is a bittersweet account of the complexities of addiction, the power of creativity, and the redemption of love.

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“Already a classic, this Finnish novel-in-verse is a revelation. A story of love, addiction and the power of self, The Love Story of the Century feels immediate and immediately relevant. Brave, visceral and a testament to the power of art to explore pain and survival. “— Mark Haber, Reinhardt’s Garden

“Tikkanen has an unusual ability to let language lightly touch the most delicate topics, to capture the expression of emotion as it is being experienced, and – perhaps, above all – an entirely unique ability to describe falling in love as fresh and new as it is to those who have just been cast under its spell.” — Lisbeth Larsson, Expressen

“Harrowing and singular, this novel charts the unsettling experience of being in a thoroughly flawed marriage, its title looming ominously over the proceedings. But then Tikkanen offers glimpses of better days, and the reader has a sense of how this particular marriage has curdled over time. It’s a haunting look at the fault lines of a relationship.” — Words Without Borders, Tobias Carroll