Peter Sandström nominated for the 2023 Nordic Council Literature Prize

Peter Sandström (photo: Marica Rosengård)

Happy day for the Nordic countries: the nominees for the 2023 Nordic Council Literature Prize have been announced, and we are proud to share that HLA author Peter Sandström, with his novel The Big Blonde’s Last Summer, is among the nominees!

Sandström is published in Finland by Schildts & Söderströms.

The jury of the prize stated about the book:

“The Big Blonde’s Last Summer is a poignant and heartbreaking portrayal of such timeless human themes as love, parenthood and ageing, in prose that is both concrete and intense in its emotion and thought.”

The Big Blonde’s Last Summer (2022)

The story revolves around a middle-aged man, who is preparing for his second child to leave home. At the same time, he must clear out his deceased parents’ home. With stray cats and one rather likeable mouse for company, he strews a cheerful cacophony of belongings around the garden. Unexpected guests appear in the guise of old friends, the ones who call the man the Big Blonde. At the heart of everything is a love story. It’s the early 1980s, and a young couple is attending university in the capital. The woman is Limone, and the man wants to spend his life with her.

Read more about the novel and the jury’s opinion here.

Born in 1963, Peter Sandström made his debut in 1998 with the short story collection Plebejerna, which was followed by two more short story collections and six novels. He has won several awards, including the Runeberg Prize and the Svenska Litteratursällskapet prize for the novel Autumn Apples (2016); it was also nominated for Finlandia Prize. He received the Signe Ekblad-Eldh Prize from the Swedish Academy in 2021, and, in the same year, the Stiftelsen Längmanska Cultural Fund Prize for the novel Love is a Tame Animal

Congratulations to the author!

Radio Popov awarded a booksellers’ prize in Spain

Wonderful news has reached us from Spain: Radio Popov, the Finlandia Junior winner of 2020, by Anja Portin, has been awarded the Premio Kirico Prize in Spain as the best YA book.

Radio Popov and its author Anja Portin

The children’s novel was published in Spanish and Catalan by Nordica Libros. The Spanish translation is by Luisa Gutiérrez, and Emma Claret has translated the book into Catalan.

Premio Kirico belongs to the award group called Todos tus Libros, which is given out yearly by the booksellers in Spain in various categories. The Premio Kirico Prize in particular is awarded to the best – according to the booksellers – children’s and YA books published in Spain during the year. Radio Popov was chosen from 12 finalists.

We remind you that Radio Popov won the most prestigious literary award, Finlandia Junior Prize, in 2020, and foreign rights of the book have been sold to 24 territories.

Italian rights sold in auction for A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large

Finally, fantastic news from Italy for HLA’s hit children’s title, the Finlandia Junior winner A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large, written by Sofia Chanfreau and illustrated by Amanda Chanfreau: after a heated auction, Italian rights have been sold to Salani.

This is the 8th foreign rights sale for the title, after the recent acquisitions in Mainland China (Everafter) and Korea (Dasan).

A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large (2022)

Founded in Florence in 1862, Adriano Salani Editore is one of the oldest publishing houses still operating in Italy. Salani has made a name for itself in the world of children’s books by publishing some of the best mainstream fiction and juvenile literature, and creating series that have fired the imagination of whole generations of youthful readers. It is the home of books by J. K. Rowling, Astrid Lindgren, Roald Dahl, Tove Jansson and many other children’s classics. Recently the house has also started to expand its offering by signing up successful writers of adult fiction.

From HLA’s list, Salani has previously acquired another Finlandia Junior winner, children’s novel Radio Popov, by Anja Portin.

A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large has already sold ca. 10,000 copies in Finland altogether, and has been the fastest-selling title on HLA’s list this spring. In Finland, the book was published by Schildts & Söderströms.

In addition to winning the most prestigious literary award in the country, Finlandia Junior Prize, the book was also nominated for Runeberg Junior Prize and received an honorary mention in the competition.

Congratulations to the authors for such a success!

Korean and Chinese rights sold to A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large

More thrilling news about the hit title on our children’s & YA list, the Finlandia Junior winner A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large, written by Sofia Chanfreau and illustrated by Amanda Chanfreau: 7 territories have been sold in fast pace, the most recent acquiring publishers being Everafter in Mainland China and Dasan in Korea.

Moreover, a heated auction in Italy is still ongoing.

A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large (2022)

Everafter is one of the famous children’s books publishers in China. They aim at middle grade (7–12) and picture books and have many award-winning titles on their acquisition list, such as Sydney Smith’s Small in the City. Besides books written in English, Everafter is keen on publication of non-English language children’s books.

Dasan Books has been one of the fastest growing publishers in Korea since its founding in 2004. It publishers various kinds of titles for adult and children, including fiction, nonfiction, educational literature and other. In addition to this acquisition, Dasan has also recently acquired children’s novel Radio Popov, by Anja Portin, which won the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2020 and has been sold to 24 territories already.

We thank for the Chinese deal to the Grayhawk Literary Agency, and AMO Agency for the Korean deal.

Amanda & Sofia Chanfreau (photo: Mikael Moroueta)

A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large is an illustrated novel for the middle grade readers and a tale of longing to be part of a family, to find one’s place in the world, and to be loved as one is; a story of childlessness and dreams that fade or morph into nightmares. Page by page, it swells with inevitable force into a horror story that firmly holds the reader in its agonizing grip. 

Whenever a ten-year-old Vega, who has always lived with her father, tries to ask about her mother, the only answer she gets is mysteries. Once a not-so-nice girlfriend starts dating her father, and Vega gets an unexpected pen pal, she decides to set out on an adventure to find out more about her mother. The book is a superb read for a child alone or for parents and children together.

The book has already sold ca. 10,000 copies in Finland altogether.

In addition to winning the most prestigious literary award in the country, Finlandia Junior Prize, the title was also nominated for Runeberg Junior Prize and received an honorary mention in the competition.

Congratulations to the authors for such a success!

Fishing for the Little Pike travels to Sweden and Lithuania

Happy, happy news for one the most internationally successful adult titles on HLA’s list, Juhani Karila’s spectacular novel Fishing for the Little Pike: foreign rights have now been sold to Bookstrap in Sweden and Aukso žuvys in Lithuania. Including these recent sales, the title has now travelled to 16 territories altogether.

Bookstrap Publishing is a very young house, founded only 2021; however, its publishers have long experience working in the book and publishing space in Sweden. The house publishes a wide range of original and translated fiction, as well as non-fiction, including memoirs, narrative journalism, and popular science.

Aukso žuvys is an independent house with a beautiful list of fiction and nonfiction books, as well as small selection of children’s titles and graphic novels. Their focus is history from unexpected angles, and the publisher’s Time Travellers series has received praise for its innovation, uniqueness and reader community-orientated approach. From Finland, Aukso žuvys has previously published the EU Prize for Literature winner Heaven, by Piia Leino, and Henrik Meinander’s nonfiction book A History of Finland.

Juhani Karila (photo: Laura Malmivaara)

Fishing for the Little Pike was Karila’s debut novel and a phenomenal success since its publication in 2019. The novel has sold over 20,000 copies in Finland altogether, and gained several awards in the home country, including the Jarkko Laine Literature Prize, the Kalevi Jäntti’s Literary Prize, as well as Tähtifantasia Prize. It also received several nominations abroad – among others, Prix Michelin in France and Internationaler Literaturpreis in Germany.

Don’t forget to tune in the hilarious Literature from Finland podcast episode MYTH, where Karila discussed myths from and about Finland.

Congratulations to the author!