More fantastic end-of-the-year news for our backlist titles: Minna Rytisalo’s phenomenal bestseller from 2016, Lempi (published in Finland by Gummerus), has now been sold to Bakhåll in Sweden, making it the 6th foreign rights deal for the title.
Bakhåll is an independent publisher focusing primarily on literary fiction, as well as avantgarde and modern classic titles. It is the Swedish home of Frantz Kafka, Anita Desai, Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick, Willy Vlautin and many others. From HLA’s list, Bakhåll has previously published one of the most internationally successful titles from Finland and the EU Prize for Literature winner in 2015, Things that Fall From the Sky, by Selja Ahava (also published by Gummerus in Finland).
A debut novel, Lempi became widely successful immediately after its publication in 2016; the novel sold ca. 30,000 copies in Finland, and just as many copies in Germany, where it was published by Hanser in 2018.
Lempi is a novel with a singular voice about love, the thirst for life, happenstance, and fate. A story of a woman starts as a fairytale-happiness, but soon evolves into a tragedy that becomes the turning point in the lives of three people. With her timeless but completely fresh and controlled language Rytisalo shows how the main characters of their own lives are just supporting characters in the lives of other.
“Rytisalo has created a precious tapestry where the feelings of the protagonists are timeless, dependless of place and totally fresh, as always in the best of fiction. The novel as a whole is excellently drafted and the language is amazingly balanced at all times.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper
“Lempi is one of the books that seem to have been created easily, as if the perfect text would just have flown from the author’s fingertips to the paper and set itself in a ready form. The novel is effortlessly stylish, a complete whole.”
– Aamulehti newspaper
The novel was shortlisted as the favourite book by German-speaking booksellers in Switzerland, also the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize, the prestigious Runeberg Prize and the Lapland Literature Prize.