Gorilla by Miikka Pörsti and Anne Vasko receives an honorary mention in the Punni Award competition

We are thrilled to share the news that Gorilla, a new picture book written by Miikka Pörsti and illustrated by Anne Vasko received an honorary mention in the Punni Award competition. The prize is established by the Finnish Institute for Children’s Literature and given each year for “brave openings” in children’s or YA literature.

The award was named after the novel Punni (1957) by one of the most celebrated children’s authors in Finland Kirsi Kunnas – a humorous and wise story about accepting one’s differences. Previous winners of the award include, for example, What Is Punk? (Mitä on punk?, 2018) by Timo Kalevi Forss ja Aiju Salminen and A Homosexual Boy’s Guide to Life (Homopojan opas, 2019) by Eino Nurmisto.

Gorilla (2020)

Gorilla introduces us to a boy called Eino who has a special quirk: he easily falls apart. Literally. Whenever he is saddened or overjoyed, Eino cracks, and it is up to his parents to “collect” him back to one piece.

Gorilla, who goes to the same playgroup, beats his chest and frightens Eino whenever he gets a chance – and then Eino shatters to pieces even more easily. But one day something happens that makes Gorilla himself break completely, and after that everything changes.

An original, funny and moving picture book teaches the young readers about feelings and how to deal with them, and stresses the importance of friendship.

Congratulations to the authors of all the books in the competition!

Catalan and Spanish rights sold for The Death of Romance

Niina Mero’s successful debut The Death of Romance has now been sold to Calanish, who will publish the book in both Spanish and Catalan.

The Death of Romance (2019)

Calanish is a brand new imprint focusing on romance fiction from Obrador, an independent publisher based in Barcelona. The publisher, as it is stated on their website, desires to “awaken emotions and push them to the limit”, and is committed to doing it with “quality literature and captivating books”. No better home indeed for Mero’s book!

The Death of Romance has been praised, among other things, as “romantic entertainment to those who dread romantic entertainment”; published in 2019, it soon turned out to be the readers’ favourite. With close to 15,000 sold copies and glowing reviews, a new star had risen to the Finnish sky of commercial women’s fiction.

In the novel, Nora, the tattooed and very Finnish version of Bridget Jones, travels to Oxford to be soon swiped off her feet by the gothic atmosphere of Jane Eyre, the upper-class romance of Downton Abbey and the plotting and scheming known from British crime series. With no illusions about love but with masses of insight into English poetry, Nora soon stumbles on family secrets – and to her surprise also on English gentlemen who seem very able to distract her inquisitive mind.

The novel has been previously sold to Sekwa in Sweden, and strong interest from Germany and Central Europe assures us that more offers are coming soon.

Congratulations to the author!

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!