Lundberg’s Ice is the readers’ all time favourite Finlandia Prize winner

Anni Kytömäki’s Margarita came third among the most loved winners of the prize.

The English edition of Ice is published by Sort of Books.

Readers have voted Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s Ice (2012) to their favourite of all Finlandia Prize winners. There were all together 22,000 votes casted. The vote is the first of its kind: this year marks the 40th anniversary of the prize.

Ice is a story about a priest and his family who arrive to a small island community in Åland right after the war, in 1946. The novel paints a picture of the local people, their relationships and the surrounding nature with the strikes of a master storyteller, and it has been described one that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

The novel is also the most bestselling Finlandia Prize winner with its well over 100,000 sold copies. The original Swedish edition is published by Schildts & Söderströms, and the Finnish translation by Teos.

Ulla-Lena Lundberg commented on the choice of the readers by saying,

Ulla-Lena Lundberg
(Photo: Cata Portin)

“I am extremely happy for this recognition. At the same time I feel that all the Finlandia Prize winners would have been worthy of it: there are a lot of great books published in Finland, and putting them in order is difficult. I am very touched that the Finnish readers have taken a Finland Swedish novel to their hearts.”

The rights have been sold to the following areas:
Bulgaria, Izida
Croatia, Hena com
Denmark, Gyldendal
English, Sort of Books
Estonia, Eesti Raamat
Finland, Teos
Germany, Mare
Hungary, Széphalon Könyvmuhely
Norway, Heinesen
Poland, Marpress
Sweden, Albert Bonnier

Lundberg’s latest novel Light and Flame (2022) has been received with rave reviews.

The second of the readers’ favourites was Sofi Oksanen’s Purge (2008), and Anni Kytömäki’s Margarita (2020) took the third place.

Turpeinen’s Beasts of the Sea nominated for the best debut award

The internationally most successful Finnish debut ever, Iida Turpeinen’s Beasts of the Sea, has been nominated for the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literary Prize.

Iida Turpeinen and the skeleton of Steller’s sea cow
(Photo: Susanna Kekkonen)

The ten nominees for Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize were announced today, the last day of the Helsinki book fair. Among the candidates, there are six novels, three books of poetry and a collection of essays.

Antti Majander, a literary critic at the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and a member of the jury, writes:

“Turpeinen whittles a base of clearly vast background information into precision strikes depicting her characters’ most telling moments. In addition to information, Beasts of the Sea offers the art of leaving out, which by and large informs the debut author’s voice.”

Beasts of the Sea has written Finnish literary history already now on the international arena, as its rights have been quickly sold to 12 areas, with aggressive pre-empts and in heated auctions. Currently, the rights have been sold to these areas:

World English, MacLehose and Little, Brown (pre-empted)
German, Fischer (pre-empted)
World French, Autrement (auction)
World Spanish, Seix Barral (pre-empted)
Italy, Neri Pozza (pre-empted)
Dutch, Singel (pre-empted)
Sweden, Albert Bonnier (pre-empted)
Norway, Gyldendal (pre-empted)
Denmark, People’s (pre-empted)
Estonia, Tänapäev
Greece, Ikaros 
Hungary, Polar.

The novel is a science-fueled story of extinctions with a huge marine mammal, Steller’s sea cow, as its protagonist. With her short, concise sentence and the skills of a great storyteller, Turpeinen has created a page-turning literary work is that is hugely topical despite the fact that the events of the novel take place in 18th, 19th and 20th century.

Iida Turpeinen (b. 1987) is a Helsinki-based literary scholar currently writing a dissertation on the intersection of the natural sciences and literature.

Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize has been given to the best Finnish debut yearly since 1995. Before, between 1964 and 1994, the best debut award was named after J. H. Erkko, a 19th century Finnish poet and the brother to the founder and editor in chief of Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, the biggest daily in Finland.

The best Finnish debut of 2023 will be announced on the 16th of November.

Autrement to publish Beasts of the Sea in French

Autrement came out as the winner from the auction for the French world rights of Beasts of the Sea.

During the past few weeks, Iida Turpeinen’s “world-class debut” Beasts of the Sea has been the book everyone is talking about. The sea cow hype has manifested in seven pre-emptive deals (world English, MacLehose and Little, Brown jointly; Germany, S. Fischer; Spanish, Seix Barral; the Netherlands, Singel; Sweden, Albert Bonnier; Norway, Gyldendal; Denmark, People’s). Before, the rights have been sold to Estonian Tänapäev and Hungarian Polar.

Today, Autrement (of the publishing group Flammarion) came out as the winner in the auction for the world French rights.

Juliette Lambron, the literary director of Autrement, wrote in her letter to the author:

“From the very first pages of your novel, I have been swept away by Elolliset and its captivating epic novel dimension: reading your novel is like embarking on an adventure, a fascinating journey through time and places. […]  The epic scope is perfectly interwoven with scientific observations and details that nourish the narrative: your novel achieves the feat of combining an adventure dimension with the history of sciences, of discoveries and explorations in a very compulsive way. […] I am very impressed and passionate about your deftly mastered novel and its precise, rhythmic and evocative writing that enlightens our human nature and our relationship to our environment, to nature and to the living beings.”

Iida Turpeinen (Photo: Susanna Kekkonen)

The deal was done by our splendid co-agent Anna Lindblom from the Nordik Agency.

Autrement’s beautiful publishing list includes authors such as Joseph Conrad, Jens Liljestrand, Julia Phillips or Kjell Westö. It is also well-known for its “Atlases” collection that endeavors to chart territories in new and enlightening ways, so as to broaden our horizons and our knowledge of the world. 

World English rights of Beasts of the Sea pre-empted by MacLehose & Little, Brown

The hottest Finnish title of this year, Iida Turpeinen’s debut Beasts of the Sea, has its new English home with the MacLehose Press in the UK and Little, Brown Company in the US.

During the past few weeks and especially at the Frankfurt book fair, Beasts of the Sea has gotten a tremendous amount of attention, which has manifested in seven prior pre-emptive deals (Germany, Fischer; Spanish, Seix Barral; Italy, Neri Pozza; the Netherlands, Singel; Sweden, Albert Bonnier; Norway, Gyldendal; Denmark, People’s). Yesterday, Autrement (Flammarion) came out as the winner in the auction for the world French rights. Before, the rights have been sold to Estonian Tänapäev and Hungarian Polar.

For the world English rights, there was an extraordinary amount of offers pouring in, as the deadline for first offers was approaching. The novel was, however, taken off the table by the strong joint pre-emptive offer by MacLehose Press and Little, Brown Company.

“Iida Turpeinen has produced an impeccably researched voyage of discovery embedded in the natural world, with terrific characters, and an elegiac meditation on human stupidity. It deals with such universal themes, and in such a sustained, vivid, poetic way; you could press it into the hands of any reader”, stated Katharina Bielenberg, the Publisher of MacLehose Press (Quercus).

“Little, Brown is thrilled to be joining our colleagues at MacLehose Press to publish in the English language this gorgeously written, at once intimate and sweeping novel by a hugely talented debut author,” said Asya Muchnik,  VP and Executive Editor at Little, Brown Company.

Iida Turpeinen (Photo: Susanna Kekkonen)

The author Iida Turpeinen says: “I am absolutely delighted that Beasts of the Sea will soon be made available for the English-speaking readers, too. The book could not have found a better home, and I am thrilled and honoured to be able to collaborate with such prestigeous publishing houses as MacLehose Press and Little, Brown Company.”

MacLehose Press was founded in 2008 by Christopher MacLehose. It has a very strong list of translated quality fiction, including Karin Smirnoff, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Roberto Saviano, Stieg Larsson and Kjell Westö.

Little, Brown and Company was founded in 1837 by by Charles Coffin Little and James Brown in Boston. It is the publisher of many bestselling authors, including Donna Tartt, Madeline Miller, Kate Atkinson, David Foster Wallace and Malcolm Gladwell.

Beasts of the Sea pre-empted for world Spanish by Seix Barral

The second pre-empt at the Frankfurt book fair for the “world-class debut” by Iida Turpeinen comes from Seix Barral, the literary imprint of the biggest publisher in the Spanish-speaking market, Grupo Planeta.

Seix Barral’s pre-empt is the seventh for Beasts of the Sea, which is the biggest literary break-through for a Finnish debut ever. Just two days ago, at the beginning at the Frankfurt book fair, the novel was pre-empted in the Netherlands by Singel Publishers.

Beasts of the Sea (2023)

The hot title of the fair, there are offers on table for the world English (deadline for offers noon Finnish time on 25th October) and Greek rights, handled by Avgi Daferera from Ersilia Literary Agency. For the world French, there are several offers on the table of Anna Lindblom from Nordik Agency.

The publishers to date are

German, S. Fischer (pre-empted)
Italy, Neri Pozza (pre-empted)
Dutch, Singel (pre-empted)
SwedenAlfred Bonniers (pre-empted)
Denmark, People’s (pre-empted)
NorwayGyldendal (pre-empted)
Hungary, Polar
Estonia, Tänapäev.

The world Spanish deal has been negotiated by our splendid co-agents at Casanovas & Lynch Literary Agency.

You’ll find the news of each deal and praise by the acquiring editors from the links above.

Iida Turpeinen (Photo: Susanna Kekkonen)