Cotton Mill trilogy has sold over 100,000 copies in Finland

The incredibly popular historical romance trilogy, Cotton Mill, written by Ann-Christin Antell, has already sold over 100,000 copies in Finland altogether! The third part of the trilogy, Rival to the Cotton Mill, was published at the end of February and immediately rose to the top of bestselling Finnish fiction.

Antell’s publisher in Finland is Gummerus.

Ann-Christin Antell, who works as a librarian, is happy that readers have found the Cotton Mill books where strong female characters at the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century put a lot of work and effort for a more egalitarian Finland.

“The progress of equality is an important theme in this series. I have heard that, thanks to these books, many have rediscovered the joy of reading after years of not having even touched a book. An immigrant in Finland has told me that the Cotton Mill books are easy to read, and so by reading them, they have been learning both the Finnish language and history. All this feedback warms my heart to no ends”, Antell says.

The trilogy has done well internationally, too: foreign rights have been sold to Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and France.

Don’t forget to check out our Literature from Finland podcast episode TIMES, where Antell discussed writing successful historical fiction.

Fishing for the Little Pike sold over 30,000 copies in Finland; nominated for a prestigious award in Poland

Always lovely to begin a week with some wonderful book news: Juhani Karila’s phenomenal debut novel, Fishing for the Little Pike, has already sold over 30,000 copies in Finland (in all formats) since its publication in 2019. Karila’s publisher in Finland is Siltala.

Fishing for the Little Pike (original edition)

The book has been incredibly successful both in Finland and abroad, with foreign rights already being sold to 16 territories. The English edition will be published jointly by Restless Books and Pushkin Press this spring / summer.

Additionally, Sebastian Musielak’s Polish translation of the Little Pike, Polowanie na małego szczupaka, published by Marpress, has been nominated for the prestigious T. Boy-Zelenski Award for the best translation!

The award jury states as follows:

“This funny novel takes place somewhere in northern Finland – a cold, wild land, sparsely inhabited by humans, but full of mythological creatures. The translator perfectly reflects the atmosphere of the original, its wit and the language of the characters. He plays with words, invents names, creates his own grammar. He moves freely between the language plane of the real world and the magical world.”

Polish edition, published by Marpress

The winner will be announced on the 21st of April, at the translator-focused literature festival called Fictional meetings in Gdańsk – Found in translations.

This is not the first time the Little Pike is receiving nominations abroad: it was honoured by such nominations as Prix Michelin in France and Internationaler Literaturpreis in Germany. In Finland, the book was awarded the Jarkko Laine Literature Prize, the Kalevi Jäntti’s Literary Prize, as well as Tähtifantasia Prize.

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!

English offer for A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large

Fantastic post-Bologna news: an offer from the English World for our Finlandia Junior winner A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large, by Sofia & Amanda Chanfreaus, is now on the table.

A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large (2022)

We are also excited to share that an auction is now ongoing in the French world.

Since the beginning of the year, foreign rights to this title have already been sold to 8 territories:

China (Mainland China, Simplified Chinese), Everafter;
Czechia, Host;
Denmark, Straarup & Co.; 
Estonia, Ühinenud Ajakirjad; 
Italy, Salani; (sold in a three-way auction);
Korea, Dasan; 
Slovenia; KUD Sodobnost; 
World Spanish, Océano

A Giraffe’s Heart won the most prestigious literary award in Finland, Finlandia Prize, in the category of children’s and YA books. It was also nominated for the Runeberg Junior Prize.

This illustrated novel for the middle grade readers is 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 close to 10,000 copies in Finland altogether.

The title is published in Finland by Schildts & Söderströms.

Congratulation to the authors for such a success!

Iida Rauma’s Destruction nominated for the EU Prize for Literature

Destruction (2022)

Happy international news: author Iida Rauma has been nominated for the EU Prize for Literature (EUPL), for her Finlandia-winning novel Destruction.

Last year, a new format for the EUPL Prize was introduced: only one winner will be selected from all the nominees instead of each participating country having a winner. The initial book selection is conducted by national organisations, each entitled to submit one book that is of high literary quality with potential for translatability. A second round of selection is conducted by a seven-member European jury, who will thus select an overall Prize winner and five special mention awards. 

The 2023 EUPL Prize winner and the five special mentions will be revealed on 28 April, during the announcement ceremony at the Leipzig Book Fair.

You can read about all the nominees here.

Destruction, Rauma’s third novel, asks how one can write about oneself if one’s own self has been shattered.

While jogging at night, A sees a familiar figure at the city’s desolate fringes and realizes nothing ends, nothing is over. So begins a breathless, desperate attempt to hunt down and escape the past across the ravaged city of Turku, into the water-damaged classrooms of the 1990s and a darkness for which there are no words but still must be expressed.

How can we document the horrors of one’s childhood in a culture where adults hate children and want to erase the traces of past wrongs?

Destruction succeeds at the impossible. The furious urge to remember, a love for the marvelous history of a burned and demolished city as well as pain that strikes at the core are woven into a stunning tableau of violence, its rings spreading out to the ends of the earth. The novel demonstrates the ability of literature to tell the truth when all other ways of speaking have been denied or condemned as lunacy.

Destruction won the most prestigious literary award in Finland, Finlandia Prize, last autumn. It has sold over 30,000 copies in Finland, and foreign rights have been sold to Sweden (Rámus).

HLA announces a new partnership with Book Smugglers Agency

As of 1st of March, Helsinki Literary Agency has begun a new partnership with Benas Bėrantas from Book Smugglers Agency (Lithuania) to represent a selection of our picture books and novels for children.

Benas Bėrantas (photo: Monika Penkutė)

Benas will be working in the following language territories:

English, Italian, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish (excluding Swedish language titles), Icelandic, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Dutch.

We at HLA are very happy to have Benas, a well-connected and ambitious agent, to help us represent our children’s list. We think that a collaboration between two agencies from small countries will strengthen both lists and help emphasize the best qualities of our countries’ literature: uniqueness, exquisiteness and quality.

Bėrantas has stated about the partnership:
“Already known as a reliable provider of selected Lithuanian literature for young readers, Book Smugglers Agency is excited to broaden the representation with a strong list of children’s books from Finland. We feel both agencies share the same values and, like in any fruitful partnership, it will hopefully allow us to grow and become stronger together.”

More information will be provided by the CEO of Helsinki Literary Agency, Urpu Strellman: