2009 Battery Street Belle de Jour
 
orig. Tykistönkadun päiväperho

First impressions of Battery Street Belle de Jour are that it is a work of pure pornography. Mette, the main protagonist, is a middle-aged mother who has embarked on a quest to make her eternity project a reality. This project is an artistic venture in which she attempts to combine pleasure, repulsion and terror. She goes about this goal by having sexual encounters with unknown men at various locations. The encounters are planned online. According to her, Mette wants to be fucked and repressed. Through these measures she believes she will transform her own life into a piece of art that will raise ‘unworthiness to a shrine’.

Mette is married to a thoroughly flawless public servant, Eero. In addition to the voices of Mette and Eero, the voices of the couple’s well-to-do teenage daughter Petra; Otto, who bangs Mette daily in his student pad; and Petra’s classmate Emma, can be heard in the novel. From the window of an opposite apartment building Emma, along with her demented grandmother, records Otto and Mette’s sessions on video, and finally relates Mette’s secret to Petra.

Helena Sinervo describes the main protagonist in the following fashion: 'Mette creates art of life from her own sexuality; in her art, she consumes male organs according to her own desires and fantasies. The essential thing in her erotic sessions is the fact that she takes responsibility of her own satisfaction and does not expect to receive it passively from her sexual partners. As all isms do, Mette’s radical-feministic ideology collapses because of everyday life and its realities; the imperfect world of people, where things don’t go according to plan. The novel is simultaneously a satire of the Finnish art circles and a declaration of love to Helsinki, the different areas of which play their own part in the book.’

Reviews:
‘…a book that will undoubtedly become the talk of this autumn’s book season. (…) a book that is erotically brave and daring.’ Suomen Kuvalehti

Battery Street Belle de Jour is an intelligent novel which writing is almost devilishly cunning. It is the sensation of this autumn’s book season. Definitely. Thank you, Helena Sinervo. You have redeemed my faith in Finnish literature.’ Parnasso

Battery Street Belle de Jour a great novel in its honesty, study on human bodies and beauty. (…) Sinervo’s skills are also evident in the way she swings the reader from beauty to ugliness and in how the novel remains on its second extreme, subtly, as if by a few flaps of a butterflies’ wings.’ Etelä-Saimaa

‘The book is carefully crafted, exciting, comforting and excellently written.’ Kodin Kuvalehti

Publishers:
Finland, WSOY