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-nominatedA Dog Called Catbook series talks about his warm and philosophical characters, the importance of friendship and the mission of children’s books. Read his interview here.
One of the new titles on our Spring catalogue, Fictional by J.P. 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.
One of the most beautiful Finlandia Prize winning novels ever, Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s ICE has been acquired to Poland by Marpress.
The eight foreign rights deal for Ice was done via Book/lab Literary Agency in Poland.
One of the all-time bestsellers in Finland with over 100,000 copies sold, Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s masterpiece has been previously published in English by Sort of Books, in German by Mare Verlag, in Bulgarian by Izida, in Croatian by Hena com, in Danish by Gyldendal, in Estonian by Eesti Raamat and in Hungarian by Széphalon Könyvmuhely.
The novel tells about a novice Lutheran priest, his wife and baby daughter arriving at a windswept island off the coast of Finland right after the war, in 1946. There they encounter the islanders, a self-sufficient community of fisher folk, and little by little, year by year they get rooted in the unadorned landscape.
“It is a grand novel. You can read it as a gripping story of people and their fates, as a condensation of the tensions in a community, but also as an allegory of the mankind.” – Aamulehti newspaper
The Victor, the fourth and final book in Karin Erlandsson’s magical series The Song of the Eye Gemstone is nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize!
The jury stated about the book:
“The author has created a unique story for children, with almost exclusively women characters, using classic contrasts to build her fairy-tale world. Land against sea, rock against wood, black against white, adult traditionalism against the new thinking and experiences of children. (…) The author emphasises that although everyone is different, everyone is needed, and that everyone should use and hone their special talents.
(…) The children bear the responsibility for putting things right, in the true spirit of Greta Thunberg. This is a modern and, at times, cruel fairy tale, with traditional influences from several of the greats of literary history, such as Astrid Lindgren and J.R.R. Tolkien.“
Erlandsson was already nominated for the Nordic Council prize with her first book in the series, The Pearl Fisher (2017). It was awarded the prestigious Runeberg Junior Prize in 2018.
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 27th of October.
Congratulations to the author and fingers crossed!