A five-book deal for Karin Erlandsson in Poland

We couldn’t be more thrilled: Polish rights for Karin Erlandsson’s children’s novels were sold to :DWUKROPEK in a five-book deal! The house acquired the rights to publish this year’s Runeberg Junior winner The Night Express, illustrated by Peter Bergting, and all four books in the magical Song of the Eye Gemstone series, recently also sold to the English world.

Karin Erlandsson (photo: Matilda Saul)

:DWUKROPEK is an imprint of MAC / JUKA publishing children’s books for various ages. As stated on the publisher’s website, they are committed to bringing to the readers “engaging, colourful stories, fantasy and crime fiction at its best, as well as beautiful illustrations”. It is an awarded house whose books have received wild acclaim among the critics; however, according to the publisher, the most important reviewer for them is the young reader, to whom Dwukropek strives to provide joy, knowledge and adventures with each new book and each page turned.

In addition to the Runeberg Junior 2021, Erlandsson was nominated twice for the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 2018 and 2020 respectively, for the first and the last books in the series The Pearl Fisher and The Victor. The first book was also the winner of the Runeberg Junior Prize in 2018 and the nominee for the Children’s novel prize in SwedenHere you can find a beautiful video of the author presenting the series and read an interesting short interview about Erlandsson’s inspirations.

The Polish deal was negotiated by our wonderful partner Piotr Wawrzeńczyk from the Book/Lab Agency.

Congratulations to the authors!

Finlandia winner Margarita sold to Lithuania

Finlandia winner Margarita by Anni Kytömäki continues conquering the world: Lithuanian rights have been acquired by Tyto alba!

This is the third foreign rights sale for the book and it is also optioned in France by Rue de l’échiquier, who just last week acquired World French rights to Kytömäki’s debut Goldheart.

Margarita (2020)

Tyto alba is one of the major publishers in Lithuania, founded in 1993. Since then, it has established its name as a home of quality literature that is also approachable for wide audiences. The publisher’s impressive list includes such bestselling authors as Jette Kaarsbøl, Marina Stepnova, Abir Mukherjee, Orhan Pamuk and others.

In addition to winning the most prestigious literary award in Finland, Finlandia Prize, Margarita was recently also voted as Finland’s bloggers favourite book of the year 2020.

A steady  Bestseller #1 in Finland with so far over 55,000 copies sold in Finland, Margarita is gaining a lot of international attention, and we are expecting more deals soon!

Congratulations to the author!

Margarita wins Blogistania Finlandia Prize

Each year, Finnish bloggers and bookgrammers organize their own voting and choose the best book of the year. The clear favourite of 2020 was Anni Kytömäki’s Finlandia winner Margarita!

The participants can only vote for the books that they have written about in their blog or Instagram posts, and each can give points (3, 2 and 1) to three books respectively.

Margarita (2020)

The bloggers shared their impressions:

Could someone please give Anni Kytömäki the Nobel, the Booker, the Pulitzer Prize or something? I think they should, because Finlandia [Prize] is way too small for Anni. Each of her books is better than the previous one, and that’s why I’m not sure if I should give Margarita the full five stars: what if the next one is even better? I don’t know how it would be possible, but Anni probably knows.”
– Heidin kuvanurkka on Instagram

Margarita fully deserves winning Finlandia Prize: the end result is well controlled, the language is stunningly beautiful, the storylines are skilfully written, making the book a simply wonderful reading experience.
– Kirsin Book Club blog

Kytömäki also won the Blogistania Finlandia in 2014, for her debut novel Goldheart, recently sold to Rue de l’échiquier in France. Margarita was recently sold to Estonia and Hungary, and an offer from Lithuania is on the table.

REC (2020)

Another HLA title, REC by Marisha Rasi-Koskinen ended up third in this year’s Blogistania Finlandia vote. Recently awarded the second most prestigious literary award in the country, the Runeberg Prize, and also the Torch-Bearer Prize not long ago, REC was described by the bloggers:

How would I picture REC? Enchanting, different, mysterious, multilayered, deep, surprising – all the words that, in the end, don’t even come close to describing this baffling, but at the same time, easily approachable and interesting novel. My words are not enough to tell you where Marisha Rasi-Koskinen manages to take you with hers – somewhere beyond the visible reality.
– Kirsin Book Club blog

Rasi-Koskinen’s novel has been recently sold to Jensen & Dalgaard in Denmark.

Congratulations to the authors!

Ulla Donner’s graphic novels travel to three territories

HLA is very proud to become a foreign rights representative for the young star of graphic novels, Ulla Donner, and immediately announce three foreign rights deals for her works!

Finlandia Prize winner Crap (2019)

Centrala has now acquired Czech, World English and Polish rights for Donner’s acclaimed graphic novels Crap (2019) and Spleenish (2017).

Donner (b. 1988) is a Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator, cartoonist and a graphic designer. Spleenish was awarded the Stipend of the Swedish-Speaking Finnish Society of Authors, in addition to the The Most Beautiful Book award and a nomination to the Finlandia Prize for the best graphic novel. Her second graphic novel Crap was a critical success and the winner of the Finlandia prize for the best Finnish graphic novel.

Centrala is a publishing house specialising in comics; originally based in Poland, they now also operate in Berlin and London. As the publisher states on its website: “For us, comics means beautifully published, well written, and exceptionally drawn literature – a picture of life in a solid frame.” No better home for Donner’s exceptional work!

Congratulations to the author!

Finnish literary classics travel the world

One of the greatest thrills for agents is to witness a book become a literary classic and represent it in the wide world. Therefore, we are always happy to see our backlist classics thriving abroad.

A Pastoral (2019)

Hungarian rights were sold to Aki Ollikainen’s astonishing debut White Hunger (2012), which received numerous awards in Finland and was also longlisted for The International Booker Prize, Prix Femina and Europese Literatuurprijs, as well as author’s third novel A Pastoral (2018) (pictured). The latter was also acquired by the Armenian house Guitank, making it the third foreign rights deal altogether (previously sold to France); White Hunger has now travelled 13 territories altogether. The publisher in Hungary is Polar.

Also Finnish poetry grand Paavo Haavikko is experiencing a revival: at the end of last year we announced that his poems will be published in Hebrew; now the Estonian publisher EKSA acquired his 1987 fictional memoir An Attempt to Self-Portrait, and a Czech house Dybbuk bought the rights for poetry collectionWinter Palace (1959).Haavikko (1931–2008) is considered to be one of the most significant writers in Finland’s literary cannon, and his poetry has been published in volume format in 12 languages.

Lempi (2016)

On the female authors’ front, Minna Rytisalo’s  bestseller Lempi was sold to Hungary (Polar), making it the 5th foreign rights sale for the title. With 6 editions in Germany, over 30,000 copies sold in Finland, nomination as the favourite book by German-speaking booksellers in Switzerland and also for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize, the Runeberg Prize and Lapland Literature Prize, the book is one of definite hits of modern literary classics. Lempi also won the Blogistania Finlandia Prize (the best novel of the year voted by the Finnish bloggers), Thank You for the Book Prize (awarded by the Finnish Booksellers’, Librarians’ and Libraries Associations) and the Botnia Prize.

Hungarian rights (Polar) were also sold for novels The Red Letter of Farewell (2003) and Backlight (2000) written by one of the most prominent Finnish authors Pirkko Saisio. Among other awards, she has been nominated for the most prestigious literary award in the country, Finlandia Prize, six times, and has been compared to the Danish phenomenon Tove Ditlevsen, recently discovered and lauded by The New York Times’ Parul Sehgal. Meanwhile, Märta Tikkanen’s legendary classic The Love Story of the Century (1978), not long ago published in English by Deep Vellum, has now found a home in Greece (rights acquired by Melani).

More January 2021 sales here.