2015 The Unborn
A writer sits by the bedside of his wife, who has fallen into a coma following a car accident. The aim is to keep Ellen alive until the foetus inside of her is developed enough for the child to have some sort of chance of surviving. While awaiting for the simultaneous death and birth, the man starts to write to his unborn daughter about the life he and his wife shared. Soon afterwards, writing becomes an escape from the hopeless reality.

The man’s memories soon blend in with his own childhood and the characters of his unfinished, unborn novels. The frozen time of the hospital infiltrates his stories, which begin to overlap and effect one another. Simultaneously, little by little, the man’s own past is revealed – although it is difficult to distinguish what really happened and what only happened in the writer’s imagination.

What is born when something dies.

Marko Leino’s eight novel, The Unborn, is a beautiful and bare novel about the fear of death and loss. Leino skilfully relates three overlapping stories that all attempt to answer the protagonist’s pressing question: What are time and personal history if one constantly lives in a moment, when nothing has yet been born?

"Leino is a highly skilled writer. The Unborn is a novel that deeply touches the within. It is a novel where everything is at stake. A novel that each literary mind hopes to bump into. Definitely in the top league." Turun Sanomat

"The lyrical, sorrowful language together with Tomi Kontio's photographs is what makes this novel exceptional. This combination beautifully resonates with the narration." Kaleva

Finland, Teos