2011 The Neighbour
In Roope Lipasti’s new novel The Neighbour we follow the ill-fated and disorganized building project of a next door neighbour. The self made man and father of six does not care much about the safety regulations of the National Board of Building nor the laws of physics in his urge to erect a sauna in his yard.

The neighbour’s comings and goings are watched from the adjacent plot by the middle aged protagonist, a history teacher and an incurable narcissist with obsessively pedantic views and uncompromising opinions. On his lonely, long summer holiday the protagonist shows more interest in the building project and in the wife of the builder than good manners might permit.

The Neighbour is a hilarious satire but also an intelligent and profound depiction of what happens to a person without somebody close and dear. Using dark humour, the novel deals with the basic themes of human life, such as loneliness, the yearning for love and the grief that follows the loss of someone close. Lipasti probes the objects of his satire gently and with understanding.

Finland, Atena
Germany, Karl Blessing
France, Gaia