Agents & Producers

Philip Teir

Philip Teir (b. 1980) is Finland-Swedish, and considered one of the most promising young writers in Finland. He has published poetry and short stories, and has contributed to several anthologies.

 

Photo: Elias Korpak

 

 

Bibliography

 

This is the Way the World Ends

The light greenery of the early summer is trembling around Erik and Julia as they are shoving their children into the car to drive towards the house by the sea in Österbotten by the Finnish west coast.

From the outside: a mid-life nuclear family that are looking forward to a long summer together. But time can also work in the opposite direction, and expose the cracks in what used to seem firm. Other people show up and complicate things: Julia’s childhood friend Marika and her charismatic husband Chris, who is the leader of The Movement – a group of environmental activists that have given up hope on planet Earth and are practicing a primitive lifestyle and mourning the world that is already gone. In the outskirts, a lonely woman in a beach house is grieving a great personal loss.

Around these people, during one summer, Philip Teir weaves a finely-tuned story about life choices and lies, about childhood and adulthood. How do we live if we know that the world is about to end?


Author:
Philip Teir

Original title:
Så här upphör världen

Published:
March 2017

Genre:
General Fiction

Original publisher:
Schildts & Söderströms
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)
English ms

278 pp.

Finno-Swedish/Schildts & Söderströms
Germany/Blessing Verlag
Sweden/Natur & Kultur
UK/Serpent's tail (WE)

 

”It’s an ordinary family. Philip Teir cleverly portrays it with a captivating, gentle, intensity. The language is brilliant. In his best moments Philip Teir reminds me of Hjalmar Söderberg. And when the cracks in the married life starts to show, Teir depicts the course of events with a precision that is – apologies for the cliché – hair-raising and profoundly concerning
/…/ I am deeply impressed.”

Crister Enander, Ystads allehanda m.fl.

 

”Teir has an apparent talent for pointing out the small dramas and tensions that always exist within a family. In the depiction of a collective consciousness in the family, one should particularly note the portrayal of the children, especially the boy Anton. His loneliness and anxiousness that the parents are leaving each other is told with a significance and presence that absolutely captures the reader. It is simply spectacular.”

Claus Elholm Andersen, Hufvudstadsbladet

”Philip Teir tells his stories with a calm authority and a clear talent for creating suspense. This is not a thriller, but there is tension in the air. ‘A raw, acrid smell’ lures in the cabin, and the smell haunts the reader throughout the novel. It might not be a corpse, but something lies beneath the floor boards. Everyone is hiding their shameful secret, and could get caught at any time.”

Ulrika Knutson, Dagens Nyheter

 

”In the heart of the idyllic summer, and the midst of ongoing crises; ranging from family life to climate changes; Philip Teir’s places his new novel. Its nerve lies in what only nearly happens, in a hovering sensation of doom and that everything is about to slip out of our hands. The author puts a finger on the pulse of society and reads the anxious flicker in between the heartbeats.”

Marit Furn, Svenska Dagbladet. One of the best cultural events of the week.

 

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The Winter War

At the age of 60, Max Paul should be able to enjoy the position he has reached in life. He is a respected sociologist, husband, father and grandfather, and lives in a big flat in the centre of Helsinki. And yet, something isn’t right. As a young man, he was a star in his field and gained national recognition as “the sex professor”, following his controversial study of Finnish sexual habits. But he seems unable to complete the book he’s working on; instead he surfs the web and writes anonymous comments about himself on chat forums.

When Laura, a former student, contacts Max to profile him in Helsinki’s largest newspaper in honour of his birthday, something comes to life in him. Laura is young, ambitious and gorgeous. She seems to know what she wants and Max struggles to keep away—until he gives in. Complicating the picture is Katriina, his wife of many years, and their two grown daughters. The youngest, Eva, has moved to London to study art and is torn between a destructive relationship with her brilliant but self-involved teacher and her longing to create art that actually matters.

Over the course of the winter, years of disappointment culminate in a crisis when everyone returns home for the celebration of Max’s 60th birthday. Eva feels trapped with her pale young man. Laura, after getting what she wanted, reveals her own private agenda and overturns everyone’s expectations, including the reader’s.

The Winter War is an intelligent literary novel about relationships, families, love and sex that brings to mind writers like Siri Hustvedt and Claire Messud. Teir is a great observer of human behaviour, who infuses his characterizations with just the right balance of warmth and satire, bringing each character to life.

The Winter War tells the story of different generations, sex, life choices and art, while also looking at how larger events change our lives and define us. Why do we want what we want? And how can you really know what you want to do with your life?


Author:
Philip Teir

Original title:
Vinterkriget

Published:
August 2013

Genre:
General Fiction

Original publisher:
Schildts & Söderströms

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)
English ms
French ms

327 pp.

Finland/Otava
Finno-Swedish/Schildts & Söderströms
France/Albin Michel
Germany/Blessing Verlag
The Netherlands/Ambo Anthos
Sweden/Natur & Kultur
UK/Serpent's tail (WE)
US & Canada/House of Anansi

 

“Philip Teir has … a fully developed sense for the oh-so-common people and their commonly uncommon experiences; for the small but meaningful minutiae of everyday existence. He brings that sensibility to his writing, as well as a concrete and unmannered style. Also, a visible tenderness for and compassion with his characters, though he is not afraid of making fun of them … The Winter War is entertaining, and provides ample possibilities for identification, while also containing multiple layers and deeper perspectives.” 

SVENSKA DAGBLADET

 

“Teir is an efficient narrator with clear influences from Anglo-Saxon feelgood. I’m just waiting for Hugh Grant to turn up, a bundle of charm. He doesn’t … [The writing] has an ease to it, is packed with light-hearted humor, but the subtext is serious cultural critique … Teir manages to sustain a thriller like nerve – given his subject, the level of suspense is unusually high. The only thing we can be sure of is that sooner or later, the lifestyle projects will crumble. In the novel, as in reality.” 

DAGENS NYHETER

“Many things about Finno-Swedish Philip Teir’s debut novel are conventional, but I mean that in the best way possible, as praise. Teir writes his way into an Anglo-Saxon tradition of literary depictions of the middle class, placing himself somewhere between Richard Yates and John Updike, but with a Nordic temperament that naturally enough is cooler… [Teir] writes about the various adventures of an academic middle class family with a realism that is at once ironically compassionate and warmly critical.” 

EXPRESSEN

 

“His portrayal of comfortably living contemporary Finno-Swedes is sardonic without being unnecessarily sadistic, kind without being indulgent. I’m having fun as I read, while Teir also touches certain sore spots pertaining to my own life … [Philip Teir’s] debut novel, then, is a timeless portrait of people who have been granted most of what they need in life, and for this very reason find it difficult to be happy.” 

SYDSVENSKAN

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