Winner of the 2012 Lea Award for the best Finnish play of the year. Three women: a mother, daughter and grandmother. When the mother disappears, the daughter is left to take care of her suddenly demented grandmother, crushing her hopes of leaving the small city in which they live. 13 Sunken Years explores the stories of the three women, none of whom have men as partners in their lives. When her high school boyfriend moves back to their town with his husband and their child, the daughter comes face to face with what she has had to miss by staying in the town and working at the local factory. The men have left their successful careers to find a simpler way of life.
This is a play about growing up, the discovery of identity and the question of whether history can repeat itself. At the centre of the tragic but often funny play is a river which runs through the city as well as through the play’s system of metaphors. The play is composed of 26 scenes that follow one another in a thematic and narrative order, rather than proceeding chronologically.
3 F, 3 M. Available: FIN, ENG
"“Paula Salminen’s play about three generations of Koskinen family women is overwhelmingly emotional but not intrusive, with polished language but still wild.”
“The cathartic tragedy is not only a story of a lost life but also a poetic narrative of a new-found community.”"
“Three generations of moving women in Northern Karelia”
Maria Säkö, Helsingin Sanomat 23 March 2012
"“The long writing process of the play can be seen in the polished language, sharp dialogue and a structure that flows smoothly from one time level to another.”
“When the full-blooded and eager-to-live Helena disappears, she leaves behind an empty space, with her daughter growing up and her mother growing old alone, depending on one another. The three women have been a unit into which men can only fit to woo and procreate.”"
“The chain of three generations in the rushes of a small town”
Eeva Kemppi, Turun Sanomat 23 March 2012
"“Water is a myth, a metaphor and a geographical location. [...] Salminen sinks all of her ingredients in the water.”"
“Women under water”
Matti Linnavuori, Satakunnan Kansa 23 March 2012
"“A river flows in the middle of the new play at the Finnish National Theatre, and Paula Salminen’s text also flows like a river.
The text flows forward strong and bubbly but also surrenders into its swirls and upstreams.
The story of Eeva, who is about to graduate from upper secondary school when her mother disappears and grandmother loses her memory, is a beautiful play that you will feel on your skin. It penetrates deep in the world of memories and unconscious but on a humane scale. Hopes and disappointments are tangible.”
“Salminen paints a rich picture of a small town and its inhabitants, without nostalgia or bitterness. The desires to leave and stay live simultaneously within people, and stability is at the same time suppressing and safe.”"
“Security and distress of a small town”
Jussi Suvanto, Aamulehti 23 March 2012
"”Utan sin mamma tvingas Eeva sköta mormodern och relationen öppnar ett spektrum av känslor. Att hjälpa en annan verkar ändå vara vägen till at må bra.”"
”Sjöjungfrumammor som inte kan fångas”
Isabella Rothberg, Hufvudstadsbladet 23.3.2012