The Burning Road

1968, Tammi

Baltzar’s first novel The Burning Road (Polttava tie 1968, Brännande väg 1969) was a sensation. It was the first book ever written about the Roma and their culture, as seen through the eyes of a Roma in Finland. The novel was also published in Sweden.

The Burning Road is a novel about travelling, traditions and confrontations with the majority. It tells about the faith of the Roma in Finland, enlightening the harsh conditions of travelling life style in a cold Nordic country.

“The timeless quality of Baltzar´s work is exceptional today, for it carries the spirit of ancient tales transformed into fresh traditions. The personal voice and sound of Veijo Baltzar as well as his inherited knowledge of rites and rituals are peerless virtues for our first born author. The Burning Road is the most promising comings of our recent history.”

Leo Lindsten, Kansan uutiset 8/12/68

“One cannot hope for anything more for Baltzar than diligence and patience - and thousands of readers."

Arto Seppänen, Aamulehti 25/1/69

“When somebody is faced with such a demanding task as carrying the title of ‘the first Roma author of Finland’ it is evident that his works will have more weight and value than what is usual. Veijo Baltzar has now become the opportunity for the wandering tribe to express and speak up for themselves and convey their inner world. For Veijo Baltzar and our literature The Burning Road signifies a conquest, which may have farreaching impacts in our society.”

Matti Paavilainen, Helsingin Sanomat 15/12/68

“The Burning Road by Veijo Baltzar belongs to the most interesting novelties of the latest season. Merely the fact that the writer of the novel is a Roma, makes it worth reading. A book about Finnish ‘apartheid’ is most welcome. One can only wish that it will find its way into most book shells, as the work is a thorn in the flesh of every white man.”

Kotiseutu Uutiset 14/2/69