2010 Red Nose Day
(orig. Nenäpäivä)

Mikko Rimminen's third novel, Red Nose Day, tells the story of Irma. She lives in a blue collar district of Helsinki on her own, and yearns for human contact. Not much information is given about Irma's background, but something drastic must have happened to her, for her to behave in such a peculiar manner. In order to find friendship, Irma ends up ringing strangers’ doorbells in her own neighbourhood, and in the nearby town of Kerava, pretending to be conducting surveys on behalf of a financial research establishment.

Unfortunately, the questions Irma poses are somewhat obscure, her research methods are strange, and her explanations leave a lot to be desired. After weeks of fake questionnaires, some locals are drawing their own conclusions about Irma’s professionalism and call the police. Irma gets worried. What will people think? As Irma has already formed a close bond with some of the respondents she decides to return to Kerava, but has good reason to fear her exposure.

Mikko Rimminen has written a touching, strikingly melancholy, yet surprisingly funny book about one woman’s need to feel close to her fellow humans. Irma needs to feel the warmth of others, and sets out to achieve this, but goes about it the wrong way.

Never before in Finnish literature has a women been described with such warmth and compassion. Mikko Rimminen has an amazing ability to get his readers to love the world and everything in it.

"In this year’s book selection, Mikko Rimminen’s Red Nose Day is a unique phenomenon. It has a far-reaching impact: it oils the rusty wheels of our brains and our love of language, unblocks our tear ducts and gives our laughter muscles a workout. Above all, it massages our feeble hearts.

Rimminen’s language is phenomenally hilarious. It ebbs and flows, it bursts at seams. The text merges with Irma’s thoughts and speech, darts around, flows freely. When the reader gets used to it, the journey becomes thoroughly enjoyable. Masters and connoisseurs of language, such as Rimminen, offer a powerful antidote to any threat of the Finnish language becoming impoverished.

The warm-hearted and charitable spirit of from Rimminen's Pussikalja novel is even more pronounced in Red Nose Day. If you begin to feel cynical or the world appears cold or overly logical, go and read this book!" Ilkka

Rights sold:
Finland, Teos
Norway, Solum
Denmark, Turbine
Germany, DTV
France, Actes Sud
Italy, Atmosphere Libri
Russia, Text Publishers
Georgia, MTP
Latvia, Jumava
South Korea, Yidab Publishing