Things that Fall from the Sky longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award

International award news: Selja Ahava’s wildly successful novel Things that Fall from the Sky (2015) is now longlisted for the prestigious Dublin Literary Award! The novel was translated into English by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah and published by Oneworld.

English edition of Things that Fall
from the Sky (Oneworld)

As stated on DLA website: “The DUBLIN Literary Award is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English. The Award promotes excellence in world literature and is  solely sponsored by Dublin City Council, and administered by Dublin City Libraries.”

The prize fund is 100,000 euros making it the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 18 novels in translation with works nominated by libraries from 30 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia, the US & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.

Previous winners include such internationally acclaimed authors as Anna Burns, Jim Crace, Michelle Houellebecq, Hertta Müller and others.

The shortlist for the prize will be announced on the 23rd of March. You can read more about on DLA official website.

Things that Fall from the Sky has been one of the most internationally successful Finnish works of fiction, with foreign rights sold to 24 territories. Ahava’s latest novel, The Woman Who Loved Insects, was recently sold to Hungary and optioned in France, and the Danish edition is due to be published in a few weeks time.

Congratulations to the author and fingers crossed!

Karin Erlandsson’s Night Express wins Runeberg Junior Prize

We are thrilled to announce that Karin Erlandsson’s newest children’s novel Night Express has been awarded with one of the most prestigious literary awards in Finland, Runeberg Junior Prize.

Night Express (2020)

The award is special for the fact that the winner is voted by the readers themselves: children aged 6 to 9. The jury stated about the book:

“Night Express is an enriching reading experience: a capturing, exciting and multilayered book that opens completely new dimensions to its readers. (…) Erlandsson writes about loneliness, longing and loss, and the book offers a platform for conversation. Peter Bergting’s graphic novel-style illustrations complete the whole wonderfully.”

Erlandsson herself has stressed that, through the book, she was hoping to communicate a message of hope and the importance of community. “I wish that this book would be read out loud, both together with adults and among children,” Erlandsson said.

This is the second time Erlandsson wins the prize: in 2018, Runeberg Junior Prize was given to The Pearl Fisher, the first book in the magical Song of the Eye Gemstone series, recently sold to the UK. Neither it is the first Runeberg Junior for Erlandsson’s publisher Schildts & Söderströms: the previous winners include Eva Frantz’s ghost and spook story for the middle grade readers, Raspberry Hill (2019), as well Fantastic Alfredo (2017) from Malin Klingenberg’s hilarious The Senior Squad series.

Runeberg Prize is a prestigious literary prize named after the Finnish national poet, Johan Ludvig Runeberg. It is one of the most important literary awards in Finland, second only to Finlandia. The prize, worth 10,000 euros, is given out in two categories: fiction and, since 2017, children’s books. The winner in the adult fiction category will be announced tomorrow, the 5th of February, on The National Runeberg’s Day.

Margarita #1 bestseller with over 55,000 copies sold, offer from France on the table

Anni Kytömäki’s Finlandia Prize winning third novel Margarita is holding strong at the top of the Finnish bestseller list. The rights have so far been sold to Hungary and Estonia, and an offer from France is on the table.

Margarita, the winner of Finland’s biggest literary award Finlandia in 2020, is has sold so far over 55,000 copies in Finland since it came out in August.

Margarita (2020)

There is a French offer for the novel on the table, and as there is a huge amount of interest in other areas as well, we hope to be able to share more news soon. The rights were latest sold to Hungarian publishing house Polar, a renowned publisher of Nordic literature.

The novel, also longlisted for the prestigious Runeberg Prize and named among the most interesting Finnish books published this year,  tells a story set post-war Finland. The country is rebuilding after the war, industry is growing and the future seems bright, even if the war’s shadow is still close. Everyone is expected to join in – hard work and devotion to the common cause are seen as more important than individual situations and hardships.

The increase of the economical welfare has, however, its downsides: old forests are being cut down, and one species central for the plot of the novel, freshwater pearl mussel, is getting endangered. And even as the world is moving ahead, there are still the same old obstacles present which humankind has always had to deal with: polio is taking its toll on the rising nation.

In this setting, the fates of different people intertwine. Young Senni gives massages to summer tourists at a spa like her father used to, and is planning to travel to the North. For Mikko, the war has never ended, and never will. Antti needs to raze forests for a living, even if he would prefer just researching them.

A masterful storyteller, Kytömäki weaves the lives of her characters together with the life of nature.

With similarities to such recent successes as Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing and Richard Powers’ Overstory, Margarita writes the people as inseparable parts of the nature surrounding us.

The author’s bestselling debut novel Goldheart  (2015) was nominated for the Finlandia Prize and Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize, and it was awarded Gummerus’ Kaarle PrizeGoldheart  also received the Torch-Bearer Prize, given to the Finnish title with the most potential to succeed abroad, and it won the bloggers’ best book of the year award, Blogistanian Finlandia. In 2017, Kytömäki published the critically acclaimed Stone Weaver, which went straight to #3 on the bestseller list when it came out.