Puhdistus Purge

The Estonian Quartet #2

Sofi Oksanen’s bestselling novel Purge is a chilling drama of two generations of women. Set in the occupied Estonia of the 1940s and again in the same country fifty years later, the novel grapples with the realities of a new Europe. Narrated through a polyphonic choir of individual voices Purge tells the suspenseful and dramatic story of Aliide Truu, an old woman whose hands have been tarnished by the crimes she committed during the Soviet era. She is joined by Zara, a young trafficking victim seeking refuge at Aliide’s countryside home. As the two women grow closer and the links between them are revealed, a tragic and complex family drama of rivalry, lust and loss begins to unfold – a story with roots dating back to the worst years of the Soviet occupation.

Purge is the second novel in The Estonian Quartet – a series depicting the division and annexation of Europe through the eyes of the women who saw it happen. Their struggle for freedom and survival becomes synonymous with the fate of a nation buckling under the heavy hand of a repressive system.

Purge became an immediate success, and Sofi Oksanen’s major breakthrough: a No. 1 bestseller in Finland, the novel has won dozens of awards, including Finland’s premier literary award, The Finlandia Award 2008. Oksanen is the youngest author ever to have won this prestigious prize.

“A sheer masterpiece… A marvel… I hope that everyone in the world who knows how to read, reads Purge.”
Nancy Huston, author of Fault Lines

Purge is a truly stunning novel, both heartbreaking and optimistic. Through the stories of two women, Sofi Oksanen shows us the history of a country that has been repeatedly violated by the Russians, by the West, by history itself, yet managed to stand strong.”
Lara Vapnyar, author of There Are Jews in my House

Photo: Toni Härkönen Sofi Oksanen
  • Literary
Reading material

Finnish edition

English edition

German edition

French edition

Spanish edition

More From Sofi Oksanen

The Estonian Quartet