The Red Letter of Farewell sold to North America

Legendary Finnish author Pirkko Saisio, who has recently often been called a Finnish counterpart of Tove Ditlevsen, praised by The New York Times, will now finally reach a wide international audience, as Two Lines Press acquired the English rights (within North America) for one of her most famous novels, Finlandia Prize winning The Red Letter of Farewell (2003). Two Lines Press is a publisher in the US that focuses on most exquisite titles from all around the world.

Photo by Laura Malmivaara

Additionally, the renowned literary journal Asymptote, famous for publishing translations from all around the world, has started the Women in Translation Month by publishing Saisio’s essay “Small Crescendos” from her most recent collection Prevarications (2019). The essay was translated into English by Mia Spangenberg.

Saisio (b. 1949) is one of the most renowned Finnish authors. She has been nominated for the Finlandia Prize six times, winning it with The Red Letter of Farewell (Punainen erokirja, 2003). She has, among other awards, received Aleksis Kivi Prize and the State Literature Award. Apart from novels, she has written numerous plays and scripts for film and television and is a well-known theatre director.

Here you can find a short interview with the author from our series, which will give you an even better picture of her works.

We are happy to see that our backlist titles are continuing to find their way in the international markets!

HLA to represent bestselling feel good and crime author Eppu Nuotio

Eppu Nuotio (Photo: Liisa Valonen)

Since June 2021, Helsinki Literary Agency is proud to represent the rights of Eppu Nuotio’s adult fiction.

Eppu Nuotio is one of the most successful Finnish authors mixing feel good and crime in her novels, latest in her bestselling 3-book cozy mystery series Ellen Lähde Investigates and before that in her 6-book series starred by young journalist Pii Marin.

Those Deadly Bells, Tongues Like Knives and The Showy Strangler form the Ellen Lähde Investigates series.

As perfect summer reading, we are happy to highlight the Ellen Lähde Investigates books.

In the series of three stand-alone novels Those Deadly Bells (2017), Tongues Like Knives (2019) and The Showy Strangler (2020) the modern day Miss Marple, Ellen Lähde enjoys her early retirement, friends, new love and gardening – and with an insatiable curiosity, pokes her nose into everything. Bestsellers in Finland, the novels have charmed the readers with their fresh and joyful approach to even the most mundane things there are in our daily lives.

In addition to feel good, romance and crime Nuotio (b. 1962) has written novels for children. She has also become known as a playwright, with great success also in Germany, where she lived for several years before moving back to Finland.

Night Express sold to Russia

Children’s novel Night Express, written by Karin Erlandsson and illustrated by Peter Bergting continues its journey around the world: foreign rights have been sold in auction to one of the leading publishers in Russia, Mann, Ivanov, Ferber (MIF). This is the 7th foreign rights sale for the title.

Night Express (2020)

MIF is a dedicated publisher with the mission to change people’s lives and thus, the world with books. The house publishes ca. 350 titles a year, including adult fiction and nonfiction and a large scope of children’s books.

Night Express has recently been nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize – fourth such nomination for Erlandsson altogether. The title also won the prestigious Runeberg Junior Prize in February. In addition to the Russian deal, the book has been sold to Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.

Night Express is a story brimming with a Christmas spirit about a little girl called Dania, whose increasingly absent-minded Granny mysteriously disappears one evening. The same night Dania hears something and sneaks out to see it with her own eyes: an express train is pulling up at the station. Upon her embarking, a magical adventure begins, as everyone on the train is looking for someone they have loved and lost.

The warm and enchanting story has been praised by the readers, and Peter Bergting’s fantastic illustrations make the adventure even more exciting!

Congratulations to the authors!

Danish rights for detective Anna Glad series sold to Gyldendal

We are thrilled to announce that the Danish rights for the beloved crime series by Eva Frantz featuring police detective Anna Glad have been sold to the country’s major publishing house Gyldendal. The publisher acquired all three books in the series: The Blue Villa (2017); the Crime Novel of the Year winner The Eighth Maiden (2018); and the most recent one, Out of the Game (2020).

Gyldendal’s senior editor Niels Beider stated they are very excited about the opportunity to introduce Eva Frantz to the Danish readers. According to him, the combination of “pure crime, a series of recurring characters, as well as current socially relevant topics” is precisely what makes the books so enjoyable to read.

Founded in 1770, Gyldendal is the oldest publishing company in Denmark, with the history of publishing some of the most important voices of our time and consistently raising the bar for the publishing industry.

The Anna Glad series has been previously sold to Estonia (Rahva raamat) and Sweden (Sekwa), and has done incredibly well on the home front: with praising reviews and over 55,000 copies sold in Finland, Glad remains one of the favourite police investigators among the readers.

Frantz recently discussed the character and creating suspenseful plots on Literature from Finland podcast fabulous episode ATMOSPHERES, which can be found on any of the usual platforms.

Foreign rights are still available in many other territories, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us (urte@helsinkiagency.fi) for the English materials: we have a great package for all three books.

REC by Marisha Rasi-Koskinen sold to France

Most exciting news has reached us from France: French rights of the prestigious Runeberg Prize winner, Marisha Rasi-Koskinen‘s masterpiece REC, have been sold to Payot & Rivages. This is the second foreign rights sale for this novel: Danish rights were acquired by Jensen & Dalgaard earlier this year.

REC (2020)

Myriam Anderson, the editor at the French publishing house, has stated they are confident that REC “is a piece of literature like no other” and that, despite the challenge posed by the scope of the novel, they “won’t be coming across such a sophisticated and ambitious, yet readable and thrilling book anytime soon again”. The French deal was made with the help of our wonderful partner Anna Linblom at the Nordik Literary Agency.

Éditions Payot & Rivages stands out among the French publishers with an exquisite list of both contemporary and classical authors from France and abroad. It is the publisher of Bernard Quiriny, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Stefan Zweig, Virginia Woolf, Charles M. Schulz, to mention a few. Payot & Rivages also published Antti Rönkä’s debut novel Off the Ground which garnered splendid reviews in the French media.

Marisha Rasi-Koskinen (Photo: Miikka Pirinen)

REC is an atmospheric, post-modern dive into the fragmented reality we are living today. When teenager Lucas meets a peculiar boy named Cole, it is a start of a decades-long on-and-off friendship, where real and fictional characters are present simultaneously, where images and stories begin many times, in various places, and where dark, possessive and manipulating side of humans take over with irrevocable outcomes – unless… nothing is true. As the author herself describes the book, “it is a love letter to fiction”, where the reality is not unambiguous and the understanding of it is rather formed in people’s minds, stories and images.

In addition to the Runeberg Prize, the novel was also awarded the Tampere City Literature Prize and the Torch-Bearer Prize. The internationally acclaimed Finnish author Kjell Westö stated about the novel:

REC masterfully plays with various levels of time and place, the storytelling, as well as concepts of photography and filming. The book is extraordinary in its abundance of internal stories that form the whole. The centre of it is a friendship that starts at a young age and involves many mysteries, addictions and traumas.

Rasi-Koskinen is scheduled to appear on our Literature from Finland podcast in autumn; in the meantime, we encourage you to have a look at the short interview with the author, which will give you an even better understanding why this novel is not like anything you have read before.

Congratulations to the author!