2 more foreign rights deals for The Woman Who Loved Insects

We are so excited to share the news of two more foreign rights deals for Selja Ahava’s beautiful fourth novel The Woman Who Loved Insects: Colibri in Bulgaria and Relacja in Poland have just acquired the rights for the title.

Both houses have previously published Ahava’s EU Prize for Literature winner Things that Fall from the Sky (2015), sold to 25 foreign territories and also nominated for the Warwick Prize and shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award. Colibri also published Ahava’s third novel Before My Husband Disappears (2017).

The Woman Who Loved Insects (2020)

This is the 4th foreign rights deal for The Woman Who Loved Insects and it has also been optioned in France. The novel is a gentle, enchanting story of a woman fascinated by an unusual hobby: insects. Limited by narrow roles imposed on her by the time and society she lives in, the main protagonist starts looking for ways of finding her voice and authorship – eventually travelling through time and facing the big questions of existence and the origin of life.

As the major Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat put it: “The Woman Who Loved Insects is like a Japanese woodcut – gentle, exotic and slowly unfolding. It is enigmatic, and as such very, very fascinating.

Congratulations to the author and her international readers!

Fishing for the Little Pike sold to the Netherlands

This year’s winner of the Lapland Literature Prize, Juhani Karila’s wonderful novel Fishing for the Little Pike has now found a home in the Netherlands, as Koppernik just acquired the Dutch rights.

Fishing for the Little Pike (2019)

Koppernik is an independent publishing house based in Amsterdam with a strong, literary list of fiction and poetry titles from both the Netherlands and abroad. Among their authors is the Dublin Literary Award winner José Eduardo Agualusa, Daisy Johnson, as well as such world literature classics as Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce and others.

Publisher Chris de Jong immediately fell in love with Karila’s novel, calling it “at once odd and deeply funny”, and a “prefect match” for the Koppernik’s list.

This is the 7th foreign rights sale for the title, and it has also won numerous awards since its publication in 2019.

Don’t forget to check out our Literature from Finland podcast, episode MYTH, where Karila discussed myths in Finland and about Finland – and handled it so charmingly, that the episode even gained international attention.

Congratulations to the author!

Night Express nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize

Fantastic news has reached us from Reykjavík: the magical children’s novel Night Express, written by Karin Erlandsson and illustrated by Peter Bergting has been nominated for the most prestigious literary award in the Nordic countries, Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize!

Night Express (2020)

The jury stated about the book:

The book is set in a magical dream world beyond space and time. It is an incredibly multifaceted story. It’s about what it’s like to miss someone, but it’s also about ageing and mental illness. The children try to understand the adult world and people’s sometimes complicated choices. As in Erlandsson’s earlier children’s books, the parents are often distanced from their children and preoccupied with their own agendas. The children are independent and perceptive and make sure to put everything right. With the help of fairy tale magic, anything is possible!

Erlandsson has already been nominated for the prize three times: twice for the books in her fantastical The Song of the Eye Gemstone series (in 2017 and 2020 respectively) and for her debut novel Mink Kingdom (2015) she was nominated in the category of adult books.

This is not the first success for Night Express either: the title just won the prestigious Runeberg Junior Prize in February, and has now been sold to 4 territories.

The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize was first awarded in 2013. The prize was born out of the long-standing desire of the Nordic ministers for culture to strengthen and highlight literature for children and young people in the Nordic Region. The winner will be announced on the 2nd of November.

Congratulations to the author and fingers crossed! After all, you know what they say: third time’s a charm, and on the fourth you win everything.

The Women Who Run Finland sold to Germany

“Correct, the government is ruled by women. Get over it,” tweeted Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin last Friday, in reaction to the new NATO report about the online harassment targeting Finland’s top ministers.

Vappu Kaarenoja & Aurora Rämö (photo: Touko Hujanen)

The world is still treating the female-lead government as somewhat of a utopia: in their new nonfiction The Women Who Run Finland, journalists Vappu Kaarenoja and Aurora Rämö explain how Finland made this utopia possible.

Now, HLA is thrilled to announce the first foreign rights deal for the title: German rights have been acquired by Scoventa.

The Women Who Run Finland takes the reader on a journey through the history of twentieth century Finland, showing how it shifted from being a country of “cashier girls” to one of the forerunners in the matters of gender and age equality.

The title is definitely among HLA nonfiction highlights this spring, that also include The Greatest Leap Forward, a new striking account on the Chinese surveillance system by Katarina Baer and Kalle Koponen, and It Happened to Us by Lea and Santeri Pakkanen, a father and daughter’s journey into the nightmares of their family in the Soviet Union.

Congratulations to the authors for the deal!

Juhani Karila awarded Lapland Literature Prize

We are so thrilled to announce that Juhani Karila’s hilarious, widely (and wildly!) beloved debut Fishing for the Little Pike was awarded the Lapland Literature Prize today!

The chooser, documentary film maker and a professor of Arts Virpi Suutari stated about the novel:

Juhani Karila (photo: Laura Malmivaara)

“The author has created an entirely separate universe with the order of its own, where one effortlessly travels through entities of a varying scale: from the stratosphere to the anatomy of midges. [Karila’s] work succeeds in being, at the same time, realistic but carnivalesque and fairytale-like; gushing, but also laconic.”

Lapland Literature Prize is given every second year for the best fiction title either set in Lapland or written by an author born in Lapland or currently living there. The prize is jointly funded by Lapland’s libraries. Additionally, the audience is invited to vote for their favourite among the nominees: the prize itself is 3000 euros and the winner of the public vote is rewarded a symbolic sum of 500 euros. Among the previous winners is a well-known Finnish author Rosa Liksom.

A true dark horse of 2019, Fishing for the Little Pike has also won the prestigious Jarkko Laine Literature PrizeKalevi Jäntti Literary Prize and Tähtifantasia Prize, and was nominated for the Tolkien Society in Finland Literary Prize.

5 editions were sold out in Finland, foreign rights have so far been sold to 6 territories, including German, World French and others, and in November, Karila was our podcast guest discussing myths in Finland and about Finland – and handling it so charmingly, that the episode even gained international attention.

On top of the enormous success of the book, Karila was just recently named the Journalist of a Periodical of the Year. He was described as someone with the “ability to observe himself and his surroundings, giving a fresh perspective to the familiar, as well as explaining complicated concepts and even, partly, offering solutions”.

Congratulations to the author!