Karin Erlandsson nominated for the Radio Sweden Prize

Lovely news from our neighbouring Sweden: author Karin Erlandsson is now nominated for the Radio Sweden Short Story Prize (Sveriges Radios Novellpris)!

The prize is a part of the traditional Literature Week, organised by the Sweden’s National Broadcaster. In addition to a short story, a novel and a poetry work are awarded during the event crowning the Literature Week.

Karin Erlandsson (photo: Marcus Boman)

In Erlandsson’s category, 5 short stories written in Swedish have been nominated, and the winner will be announced on the 26th of April. Erlandsson is nominated for the short story Lådan.

The winner is voted by the public, and you can cast your vote here.

Karin Erlandsson is a Swedish-writing author who lives on Åland Islands. She writes both for children and adults, and has been nominated four times for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Her newest work is a narrative nonfiction Blue Yarn. What I know About Knitting, already sold to three territories, including to Blanvalet in Germany.

Congratulations to the author for the nomination, and fingers crossed!

Destruction by Iida Rauma wins Blogistania Finlandia Award

Each year, Finnish bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers organize their own voting and choose the best book of the year. The clear favourite in the category of the Finnish fiction was Destruction, by Iida Rauma.

Destruction (2022)

There were 50 voters this year, who could only vote for the books that they have written about in their blogs or Instagram posts, or discussed on their Youtube channels. Each voter can give points 3, 2 and 1 to three books respectively.

The award is given in four categories:
Finlandia – for a fiction book published in Finland;
Globalia – for a translated fiction book;
Tieto – for a nonfiction book;
Kuopus – for a children’s or YA book.

The voters have shared their impressions on Destruction:

“Destruction is a ferocious and impressive book.”
– Kirjavinkit book blog

“Shocking, terrifying, intoxicating, scary. Also, horrible, penetrating, unbelievable, brilliant, abundant, astonishing and apt.”
– @kalmanoudotkirjat

“Destruction is a work of fiction of the highest standard. [The author] is skilful in structural and narrative solutions, and the book has a beautiful language.”
– Kirsin Book Club blog

The winner of Finlandia Prize in 2022, and now a nominee for the EU Prize of Literature, Destruction 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.

The novel has already sold over 30,000 copies in Finland, and foreign rights have been sold to Sweden (Rámus). Rauma’s publisher in Finland is Siltala.

Congratulations to the author!

Anna Englund’s Pine Coat sold to Estonia

It’s always such a joy and excitement to introduce a new author to the audiences abroad. And so, we are thrilled to share that the first foreign rights deal has been made for Anna Englund’s debut novel Pine Coat: Estonian rights have been acquired by Ühinenud ajakirjad.

Pine Coat (2022)

Ühinenud ajakirjad has proved to be a loyal fan of Finnish literature, publishing many adult and children’s titles over the recent years – among others, the Finlandia Prize winner Margarita, by Anni Kytömäki; The Dead Still Speak, by R&R; the Finlandia Junior winner Radio Popov, by Anja Portin; The Secret Gardeners, by Maija Hurme & Lina Laurent, as well as many others. The publisher has also recently acquired the Estonian rights for the Finlandia Junior winner A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large, by the sister duo Sofia & Amanda Chanfreau, which has quickly become HLA’s most wanted title this season.

Pine Coat is Anna Englund’s highly praised debut novel, which pulses with the rhythms of the 1930s. In it, the protagonist Elena carries on the tradition of coffin-making in a rural village together with her husband. Death is a daily colleague, and life flows along calmly in its familiar channels.

But when a strange woman from the capital arrives to buy a coffin, everything is thrown into disarray. Love is a force that changes a person, but can one demolish the entire framework of a life in its pursuit?

Pine Coat was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize, given for the best debut of the year.

Congratulations to the author!

English & Dutch rights sold for A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large

What a fantastic week for our Finlandia Junior winner A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large, by Sofia & Amanda Chanfreaus: we are thrilled to announce that Lannoo has acquired the Dutch rights, and Gecko Press has acquired the English language rights in the UK & the Commonwealth.

A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large (2022)

Lannoo Publishers’ children’s book stands for quality, its own style and humor. The range of publications is diverse and extensive: from cardboard books for toddlers to fiction and non-fiction for 12+. Lannoo is the publisher of award-winners like Maria Parr, Kate Di Camillo, but also the hilarious Treehouse series, thats sold almost 2 million copies in Flanders and the Netherlands.

The publisher Sofie Van Sande stated about A Giraffe’s Heart:

“The author tells a delightful fantasy story that at the same time has so much depth, humour and a cheerful twist on the sad things in life. We adore the illustrations that fit the imaginative story perfectly.”

Gecko Press is an independent, international, award-winning publisher of curiously good children’s books, based in Wellington, New Zealand. The publisher hand-picks books by some of the best writers and illustrators in the world — “books of good heart and strong character, excellent in story, illustration and design”.

The publisher Julia Marshall has stated about her newest acquisition:

“A Giraffe’s Heart went straight to our hearts when we first read it in our office: its warmth, quiet humour, substance and originality makes it a very Gecko Press book we think! The voice of Vega is very strong, and we love the combination of compelling plot and light fantasy, and the illustrations are fantastic.”

This charming children’s novel has quickly become the most wanted title on HLA’s list this season, and foreign rights to have now been sold to 10 territories:

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

Sofia & Amanda Chanfreaus (photo: Mikael Morueta)

Additionally, an offer from Lithuania is on the table, and the auction is still ongoing in France. The novel has sold over 10,000 copies in Finland. It’s publisher here is Schildts & Söderströms.

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.

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.

Congratulations to the authors!

Before My Husband Disappears sold to Poland

Just before the turn of the month, wonderful news reached us from Poland: Relacja has now acquired the Polish rights for Selja Ahava’s formidable novel, Before My Husband Disappears (2017).

Before My Husband Disappears (2017)

Relacja previously published Ahava’s EU Prize for Literature winner, Things that Fall from the Sky (2015) – one of the most internationally successful titles from Finland, already sold to 26 territories altogether.

Ahava’s publisher in Finland is Gummerus.

Before My Husband Disappears  is a brutally honest story about the unexpected aspects of reality and the pain of letting go. When with just one sentence a woman’s husband starts disappearing from her life, the woman does everything to commit him to her memory. At the same time, she tries to answer the question: could it be that something you always thought was there, was in fact, never there? Ahava’s powerful but natural prose turns an unbelievable story and a human tragedy into a moving work of art.

The title has been so far sold to 4 territories altogether.

We thank our partner Book/Lab Agency for the Polish deal.

Don’t forget to check out Literature from Finland podcast episode VOICE, where Ahava discussed the particularities of the Finnish literary voice.

Congratulations to the author!