Two HLA titles nominated for the Rudolf Koivu Prize

Fantastic news for our children’s list: the nominations for the Rudolf Koivu Prize are out, and two of our titles are among them, namely Ilja KarsikasThe Unicorn and Sanna Mander‘s My Teeny-Tiny Witch. The Rudolf Koivu Prize is awarded biennially to the best illustrators of books for both children and young adults.

© Ilja Karsikas, The Unicorn, 2022

Ilja Karsikas’ The Unicorn ( 2022) is warm-hearted picture book about complicated conditions at home, family life and love. It is based on the author’s own memories and childhood experiences in a caring, ordinary family.

The Unicorn touches on the difficult topic of alcoholism in a delicate way, and with stunning, colourful illustrations that will enchant any reader. The book has been sold to Korea, and an offer from Sweden is on the table.

Sanna Mander, Teeny Tiny Witch (2021)

Sanna Mander’s My Teeny-Tiny Witch (2021) is a beautiful picture book about a little witch that lives in every child and perhaps even every adult.

Harri, the protagonist, is a wonderfully well-behaved child. Except his best friend, the little witch Axe Rexona, is very much of a troublemaker, and it’s hard to tell them apart, since no-one can see Axe.

We all have a teeny tiny witch: the one that makes us cranky and naughty, makes us do silly things and act up. Mander’s illustrations are flurry and full of energy, and visually gorgeous. The book has been sold to Estonia.

The winner of this year’s Rudolf Koivu’s prize will be announced on Thursday November 16th.

Warm congratulations to both authors, and fingers crossed!

Beasts of the Sea pre-empted in the Netherlands by Singel Publishers

Fantastic news keeps pouring in: the biggest literary phenomenon from Finland this year, Iida Turpeinen’s debut Beasts of the Sea, has sealed its 8th foreign deal as its Dutch rights were pre-empted by Singel Uitgevers’ Jacoba Casier (De Geus) and Michel van de Waart (Arbeiderspers). 

A fascinating story that spans over 200 years and revolves around Steller’s sea cow – an extinct sirenian. The novel is a beautiful intersection of natural sciences and literature. 

Iida Turpeinen
(Photo: Susanna Kekkonen)

“Both Jacoba [Jacoba Casier, De Geus] and I were impressed. I read the sample over the weekend and was immediately drawn into this powerful, multilayered story about the human urge to control, study and collect nature, destroying it in the process. It reminded me of books by Judith Schalansky and Daniel Kehlmann’s book on Humboldt. 19th century preciseness combined with deep aesthetic sensitivity and epic narration, with the urgency of the current climate crisis resonating between the lines,”
says Michel de Waart.

The publishing group is known for the translations of for example Olga Tokarczuk, Colm Tóibín, Karl Ove Knausgård and others.

Prior, Beasts of the Sea has traveled to the following areas:

German, S. Fischer (pre-empted)
Italy, Neri Pozza (pre-empted)
Denmark, People’s (pre-empted)
Sweden, Alfred Bonniers (pre-empted)
Norway, Gyldendal (pre-empted)
Hungary, Polar
Estonia, Tänapäev

There are offers on the table for the World French (Nordik Agency), World English (Helsinki Literary Agency) and Greek rights (Ersilia Literary Agency), and a pre-emptive offer from a 12th area.

For earlier news and praise by the editors, check the links: Norway, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia.

Pirkko Saisio, Iida Rauma, Juhani Karila and more HLA authors praised as “New Classics” by leading women’s magazine in Finland

Pirkko Saisio’s Lowest Common Multiple

Another accolade for several HLA authors: Me naiset, the leading women’s magazine in Finland, published in early June a list of “New Classics” – books produced in the last 15 years that left a mark in the Finnish literary landscape.

Pirkko Saisio’s Helsinki trilogy Lowest Common Multiple; Backlight; and The Red Book of Farewells – is praised for the “wonderful portrayal of how an individual looks at their own past and at the history of their community”. On Saisio’s style, the article goes on to state that “As a story-teller Saisio is in the same league as Nobelist Annie Ernaux“.

Destruction by Iida Rauma

Iida Rauma’s Destruction is featured for its narration of bullying and violence among young people and the scars these events leave on adults. On her style, the article comments that Rauma “doesn’t lecture, but makes readers think”.

Juhani Karila

Juhani Karila’s Fishing for the Little Pike is also on the list, described as both a “traditional and modern” work of art. 101 Ways to Kill Your Husband, by Laura Lindstedt & Sinikka Vuola is also praised for its modernity, which combines stylistic experimentations with a surprisingly successful mix of tragedy and fun.

101 Ways to Kill Your Husband by Laura Lindstedt & Sinikka Vuola

Minna Rytisalo’s Lempi, a gorgeous story of love and jealousy set in Northern Finland in times of war also makes the list, and so does Ulla-Leena Lindberg‘s Ice, a touching family saga, praised for its historical portrait of Finland.

Ice by Ulla-Lenna Lundberg

Antell, Hast and Kyllönen top FILI Book Picks 2023 | Chanfreaus and Strömberg top children’s list

Fantastic news for our authors: Ann-Christin Antell’s Cotton Mill Trilogy, Susanna Hast’s Body of Evidence and Marja Kyllönen’s The Undeparted are at the top of FILI’s Book Picks 2023 for adult fiction! Many other HLA authors, including Merja Mäki’s and her novel Before the Birds, also made the list.

For children’s titles, our beloved A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large by Amanda & Sofia Chanfreau tops the list, tightly followed by the endearing and successful YA novel We’ll Just Ride Past, by Ellen Strömberg.

Antell’s The Rival to the Cotton Mill
Hast’s Body of Evidence

This comes at a great time for all these titles: the Cotton Mill Trilogy, a historical romance about three generations of women and their family business, has recently made its 5th foreign sale, and Hast’s Body of Evidence, a startling work of autotheory, has received wide accolade and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize.

Marja Kyllönen’s The Undeparted, a dark twist on the story of a childless couple, has been awarded the Runeberg Prize, and Merja Mäki’s Before the Birds, a gorgeous story of struggle and hope set in the time of World War II, has been sold to France and Sweden and has been awarded the Torch-Bearer Prize.

Kyllönen’s The Undeparted

A Giraffe’s Heart is Unbelievably Large by Sofia & Amanda Chanfreau has been wildly successful: a Finlandia Junior winner in 2022, its foreign rights have been sold to 14 territories and has received raving reviews. In theYA category, We’ll Just Ride Past, by Ellen Strömberg has been nominated for the 2023 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize and has recently been sold to both Italy and Korea.

Warm congratulations to the authors, and don’t miss out on these titles!

Gorilla by Miikka Pörsti & Anne Vasko sold to South Korea

South Korea continues to be enamoured by the Finnish children’s literature: after already acquiring 4 children’s titles from HLA’s list, Korean Studies International has now also bought the Korean language rights for Gorilla, a beautiful picture book written by Miikka Pörsti and illustrated by Anne Vasko.

Gorilla (2020)

KSI is one of the many publishers that HLA agents met during their recent trip to Seoul; the house focuses on publishing children’s picture books that promote self-searching, independence, family love, environment, and diversity, among other themes.

Gorilla is an original, funny and moving picture book about feelings and how to deal with them that stresses the importance of friendship. When little Eino gets upset, he literally fall apart to pieces. Eino doesn’t need much to get sad, and now there is a giant Gorilla too, that beats its chest and frightens Eino even more.

But one day, something happens, and Gorilla itself breaks completely; after that everything changes.

This is the second foreign rights deal for the book; Estonian rights have previously been sold to Elust enesest. In Finland, the title was published by S&S.

Congratulations to the authors!