Every stage of a relationship has its continent.

Where are you on the world map of love?


Every relationship is unique, yet universal. Oona likes to think of love as a map of the world, with each stage of a relationship its own continent.
Asia usually comes first, humid and enchanting. Australia is remote and more practical, the continent of new routines, but the transition is smooth and the difference is difficult to see at first.

America has great plains, tornadoes, and roaring waters, but past concerns and future threats are not overwhelming. On the contrary, America is a time for a new kind of confidence and bloom. When love moves on to Africa, life is marked by more fears than before; more dry seasons, sunburned grass, and chilly nights.

Europe is the continent of old habits, irony, and meaningful pauses. Would it still be possible to experience a piece of Asia? Does Eurasia really exist? Oona insists that Greenland is a continent as well: one last stop before the fall to Antarctica. Is there love after Antarctica?

Oona first meets Alex at a writers’ conference. Both feel a little out of place, as neither thinks they have written real books: she draws cartoons, and he is a journalist. Sharing a sense of alienation, they fall in love, and their Asia begins.

A tender, candid love story with a strong autobiographical feel,
Continents follows Oona and Alex across the world map.


Anja Snellman is one of the leading names in contemporary Northern European fiction and the most widely read author of her generation in her native Finland. She celebrated her 35th anniversary as an author in 2016.

Her original intention was to become a poet. But after a colleague saw a piece of her prose at a summer camp for young writers, he persuaded her to give prose a try. It took her seven years to write her first novel, but the response was overwhelming: that first work remains the best-selling debut novel in the history of Finnish literature.

Snellman is noted for her beautiful use of language, bold sensuality, enchantingly dark humor, and a keen eye for the absurd. In her works, the personal and the universal, the fictive and the documentary intertwine in stories that capture the essence of our existence, the beauty and pain of life with compassion and uncompromising accuracy.

Continents: A Love Story


25 novels
3 poetry collections
20 languages

Anja Snellman, one of the leading names in contemporary Northern European fiction, celebrated her 35th anniversary as an author in 2016. She burst onto the literary scene with a first work that remains the highest-selling debut novel in the history of Finnish literature. She lives and writes in Finland, Crete, and India.


Photo: Jouni Harala / New Terrain Press

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