Interviews with writers!

We are continuing our creative literary interviews series with HLA’s writers! This time, Lauri Mäkinen, the author of the incredible 50/50 talks about combining suspenseful crime with history, the silliness of Nordic Noir genre and exciting future projects. And of course, the entertaining questionnaire! Read the interview here.

(Photo: Laura Malmivaara)

Helsinki-filmi purchases an option for The Pearl Fisher by Karin Erlandsson

Film production company Helsinki-filmi has purchased an option for Karin Erlandsson’s children’s book The Pearl Fisher (2017).

The Pearl Fisher is the story of Miranda, who decides to find the most sought-after pearl in the kingdom, the fabled Eye Gemstone. She is accompanied on the adventure by little Syrsa, whose special skill carries greater dangers than either of the girls can foresee.

“To see the world I created transferred to the cinema screen is such a huge dream that I hardly even dare to think about it,” says Karin Erlandsson.

“We at Helsinki-filmi are very excited about the project. Bringing the fantasy world of Erlandsson’s novel to the silver screen will not be an easy task, but that will make the project even more interesting. We are setting about the adaptation of the novel as a movie script with great enthusiasm,” says executive producer Tia Ståhlberg.

The Pearl Fisher begins the four-part Song of the Eye Gemstone series. The Pearl Fisher won the publisher’s children’s book competition and was awarded with the Runeberg Junior Prize. It has also been shortlisted for the Nordic Literature Prize and the Arvid Lydecken Prize.

Next year the series will start to appear in Sweden, co-published by Schildts & Söderströms and Bonnier Carlsen. So far foreign rights have been sold to Estonia and Bulgaria.

Helsinki-filmi is one of Finland’s largest production companies. Its output includes the films Tom of Finland (Dome Karukoski 2017), Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (JP Valkeapää 2019) and Ladies of Steel (Pamela Tola 2020).

Pirkko Saisio shortlisted for the Runeberg Prize

The shortlist for one of the year’s most important literary awards is now released, and we are very happy to see one of HLA authors on it. Pirkko Saisio was nominated for her newest work Prevarications. Confessions on Love, Writing and Performing (Siltala, 2019) along with seven other authors.

Prevarications is a charming collection with a sharp psychological eye and a wise view of the world. The hilarious, biting stories are woven together by an omniscient narrator, who moves flexibly from autobiographical fiction to fiction and back.

As Finland’s major newspaper Helsingin Sanomat stated about the book: “Pirkko Saisio has for a long time been her own genre, an author with a recognisable style, but in her recent works she has crossed borders and combined genres with ever more courage.” 

Saisio is a well-known author in Finland who has been nominated for the prestigious Finlandia Prize six times, winning it in with The Red Book of Farewell (Punainen erokirja, 2003).

Runeberg Prize is named after the Finnish national poet, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, and it is often regarded to be the second most important literary prize after Finlandia. It is given yearly on Runeberg’s Day, the 5th of February. The prize, worth 10,000 euros, is given out in two categories: fiction and children’s books. We remind you that Malin Klingenberg’s and Sanna Mander’s hilarious children’s verse book The Life of Fart is competing in the children’s category.

Congratulations to the authors, and fingers crossed!

Juhani Karila wins Kalevi Jäntti’s literary prize!

Juhani Karila, the author of the wildest title on HLA’s autumn list Fishing for the Little Pike, received Kalevi Jäntti’s literary prize along with two other Finnish writers.

The jury stated:
Karila’s magnificent novel is magic realism with a Lappish twist. The soul of this book lies in its language […] enchanting the reader. The story’s eco-philosophical view of life digs deep into the [nordic] landscape, and its description is Finnish prose at its best.

Kalevi Jäntti’s prize is a literary prize given yearly to one or several young Finnish authors to encourage and promote Finnish literary fiction. The prize is worth 18,000 euros.

Fishing for the Little Pike was published in September 2019 and immediately gained an overwhelming attention from foreign publishers. World French rights were sold to La Peuplade even before the publication in Finland.

Congratulations to the author!