Thank You for the Book, Antti Rönkä!

Antti Rönkä’s debut novel Off the Ground was awarded Thank You for the Book Prize 2020!

The prize is given out yearly since 1966, for a book that is considered to have caused the biggest intellectual and/or emotional stimulus to the readers during the past year. The winner is decided upon jointly by The Booksellers’ Association in Finland, Association Libro ry and Finnish Library Association.

As the jury stated:

Antti Rönkä’s confident debut demonstrates thought patterns of a bullied person that may seem absurd to the outsider, but to the one experiencing them, it is the reality. The unspeakable burden of traumatic experiences are heavy on the reader’s mind. Precise sentences expose things laying underneath the surface in a strong voice, without exaggeration.

(…) The author skilfully portrays various feelings and processes of the mind. The book won’t leave a person unmoved.”

Off the Ground is a powerful debut novel, long-listed for the Runeberg Prize. It describes the experiences of a grown up man starting a new life in a new city, but haunted by memories and traumas of bullying suffered in the past. Earlier this year, World French rights were sold to Payot & Rivages.

Congratulations, Antti Rönkä, and thank you for your extraordinary book!

Interviews with Writers!

We are continuing our creative literary interviews series with HLA’s writers! As Online-Bologna is approaching, we thought, this month we will honour two children’s writers. Malin Klingenberg, the author of many children’s and YA books, including the spectacular The Life of Fart, talks about writing for children and… about farts, of course! The entire interview can be found here.

Tomi Kontio, the author (in collaboration with Elina Warsta) of the beloved, Finlandia-nominated A Dog Called Cat book series talks about his warm and philosophical characters, the importance of friendship and the mission of children’s books. Read his interview here.

Jussi Laitinen awarded Tampere City Literature Prize!

One of the new titles on our Spring catalogue, Fictional by Jussi Laitinen received Tampere City Literature Prize!

As the jury stated:

Laitinen’s debut novel Fictional follows, for a time-frame of one day, the main protagonist who is developing a theory of a fictional human and believes to have found an explanation to the human mind and reality. The novel is contemplative, satirical and humorous, and encourages its readers to think about reality and its boundaries. For its various levels and perspectives, Fictional is a book that can be immediately read again.

J.P. Laitinen has previously published books of nonfiction and worked as an environmental journalist. Fictional is his debut novel and a fierce, unapologetically philosophical and psychological story of a day of manifold losses and their denial, and of the desire to see the world the way you want it to be. Through the character of Henry Qualia, Laitinen merges philosophical boldness with an enormous tenderness toward other people. It has been compared to the works of such authors as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Peter Handke and Thomas Bernhard.

Tampere City Literature Prize has been awarded since 1944. It is given yearly for an outstanding work of fiction to a writer that is either born in Tampere city or lives there at the moment.

Congratulations to the author!