Saturday, November 11, 2006


One of the most amazing books I have ever read is Leena Krohn's Tainaron. It is simply a masterpiece. At the end of this post, you can find what I wrote about the book when it first came out.

Although the book has done respectably well for Prime, it has, I feel, failed to reach the wider audience it deserves, possibly because it's such a slim hardcover and priced rather high.

For this reason, Ann and I have purchased a large number of copies at a dealer's discount and will be offering them at $15 plus shipping ($2 book rate in the US). That's a huge savings off of the $35 cover price for what is a really beautifully designed book. (Rest assured, we have worked out a deal so that Leena gets an excellent cut of all profits from this special offer.)

To sweeten the deal, I've also gotten Prime to offer a two-fer deal. You can buy Tainaron and my Select Fire Remix of Secret Life for only $25 total, plus shipping ($3.00 for book rate in the US). That's a savings of $5 on Secret Life in the bold, sexy new edition. And since I'll be shipping them out, I'll sign and personalize your order and throw in some Shriek beer coasters. (What does the new version of Secret Life include? A remixed "party" version of Jeff Ford's intro, with photos, two new short-shorts, new illos by Eric Schaller, expanded story notes, and excerpts from unpublished Veniss stories, as well as some cheekiness involving the blurbs at the front, the copyright page, the back cover, and the usually blank pages between sections. Also, five crap stories have been deleted and the story "Secret Life" is now threaded throughout the entire book.)

You can paypal to buzzcity at or send checks to: POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315. If outside the US, contact Ann at the buzzcity address for pricing information (re the shipping).

We will be selling the Krohn for, well, as long as we can continue to buy extra copies, but the two-fer deal is only available through Christmas.

Regardless of whether you take advantage of the two-fer deal, we will happily gift wrap your purchase and send the ordered book(s) directly to anyone you like, personalized for your choice of winter holiday.

If you, like me, love Tainaron, please do post notice of this special offer on your blog or news service. Thanks.


I recently read Leena Krohn's Tainaron, a brilliant short novel in the form of a series of letters home from an anonymous narrator visiting a city populated by intelligent, human-sized insects. It's Kafkaesque territory, although Krohn's vision is somehow more emotional and evocative than most of Kafka. The understated quality of the letters, coupled with the ingenious evocation of insect life and the symbolic, resonant nature of the images in the novel makes for a mind-altering experience. I've re-read Tainaron four times now, and have taken something different from it each time. I just flat-out love this novel.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about it in a starred review:

Handsomely embellished with Finnish State Prize winner Inari Krohn's provocative etchings and xylographies, this brief, lyrical epistolary meditation on life, love and death, nominated for the prestigious Finlandia Prize, is the first of modern fabulist Krohn's works published in the U.S. The "woman" whose 30 letters make up the novel has recently come on a white ship to Tainaron, an insect-city within a volcanic cone, but she's forgotten why. The "lover" she addresses over the sea never replies, and she eventually abandons hope of answers, instead ranging the city with arthropodic "friend" Longhorn, who provides unsettling insights into the cycle of birth, change and absorption into new life. As summer fades to autumn and implacable winter nears, the narrator falls half in love with sleep and its easeful twin, death. The spiral-nautilus emblem of Tainaron's flag reminds its letter-writing guest, smitten by the realization of mortality, of the sweet anguish in the unavoidable alliance between birth and death, a recollection of "the dead [and] the gods." The author suggests no line divides language and music; her elegiac linguistic melodies enthrall the mind's ear, evoking as well bittersweet intimations of immortality more lovely, dangerous and disturbing than any realistic voice might utter.


At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Mark Teppo said...

Dammit, man, I haven't even had a chance to look over my scores from WFC and here you are...[grumbling, I make more room on my to-be-read shelf]

Thanks, though, a sweet deal it is.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous jude said...

A sweet deal indeed. I am unfamiliar with Krohn's work (though Tainaron sounds fascinating!), and have yet to buy a copy of Secret World. Mmmm...Shriek beer coasters, you say...and an JV-signed shipment...

Say no more. I'm sold.


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