Original title: Svinalängorna
Original publication: Albert Bonniers Förlag
Genre: General Fiction

When Leena and her family move to Sweden and into a new apartment, things seem to be on the up. But her parents, Finnish immigrants, are poor. They drink. And in the city, people refer to the area they have moved into as The Pigsties. Leena starts to immerse herself in escapist dreams. But where is her place in the world? With strong empathy and much humor, this bestselling debut novel describes a child’s growing up in great poverty in the midst of the Swedish welfare society. A heartbreaking yet also beautiful novel about a misplaced childhood.


“Susanna Alakoski has written a fascinating novel. She has succeeded in mixing the aesthetic and existential – the result is great literature. “

Helsingborgs Dagblad

“A brilliant novel about a lost childhood: Susanna Alakoski’s book is stripped down to the most basic realism, yet full of hope. And this hope remains when you have finished reading.

-Evelyn Beyer, Neue Presse

“With a distinct, brave voice Susanna Alakoski writes about subjects that often remain steeped in secrecy. With her courage to speak out and her facility for turning words into literature, she will be noticed all across Europe.

Marie-Luise Wache, AVIVA Berlin



“A story of growing up which, in spite of its harshness, leaves room for hope and irony.”

Ruth Bender, Kieler Nachrichten

“I recommend this book wholeheartedly. It describes a specific epoch, but it is timeless. And so well written.”

Katja Güth, Radio Bremen

“Susanna Alakoski’s novel is far from a kitsch social drama. It is a shattering but also poetical study of a poor childhood in a rich country – perhaps it will prove a comfort to those who have had similar experiences.”

Annemarie Stoltenberg, NDR Kultur

“…one of the most gripping and page-turning novels published in a long time.”

Svenska Dagbladet

“Susanna Alakoski writes from the perspective of the child, describing things from below, with a special eye for women. Her language is authentic and powerful. Her writing is unsentimental. She seeks no scapegoats, for her theme is not either guilt or shame.”

Ystads Allehanda

“Alakoski’s writing has been likened to that of Frank McCourt.”

Swedish Book Review


“It is skilfully carried out and very engaging – a piece of contemporary history.”

Sydsvenska Dagbladet




Serbian rights sold to Heliks Publishing House

Korean rights sold to Dongyang Books.

Danish rights sold to Gyldendal.

Finnish rights sold to Schildts & Söderströms.

German rights sold to Ed Fünf.


Magdalena Hedlund
Phone: +46 70-669 05 68