Two HLA authors nominated for Runeberg Prize

The shortlist for the prestigious Runeberg Prize was announced today, and we are thrilled to see two of our authors among the nominees!

The Woman Who Loved Insects (2020)

The Woman Who Loved Insects by Selja Ahava tells a story about a woman called Maria, who becomes fascinated with insects at a young age. It being the 17th century, people are restricted by societal and moral norms. But with the passage of time the world changes, and religion finds a competitor in science. The novel shows a woman breaking out of her narrow role, gaining a voice and authorship, together with the right to ponder the mystery of the origin of life. The Woman Who Loved Insects is, above all, a story of a person following her own path and passions, despite the obstacles set in her way by the era.

Selja Ahava is an author of four books. Her second novel, Things That Fall from the Sky, won the EU Prize for Literature in 2016, was nominated for the Finlandia Prize and the Torch-Bearer Prize, and has been sold to 24 territories, making Ahava one of the most internationally successful Finnish authors of all times.

REC (2020)

REC by Marisha Rasi-Koskinen is an atmospheric, post-modern dive into the fragmented reality we are living today. When teenager Lucas meets a peculiar boy named Cole, it is a start of a decades-long on-and-off friendship, where real and fictional characters are present simultaneously, where images and stories begin many times, in various places, and where dark, possessive and manipulating side of humans take over with irrevocable outcomes – unless… nothing is true. As the author herself describes the book, “it is a love letter to fiction”, where the reality is not unambiguous and the understanding of it is rather formed in people’s minds, stories and images.

Marisha Rasi-Koskinen has published six works of fiction. In 2019, her first YA book The Dark Side of the Sun won the most prestigious literary prize of the year, Finlandia Junior, and novel REC was recently awarded The Torch-Bearer Prize.

Runeberg Prize is a prestigious literary prize named after the Finnish national poet, Johan Ludvig Runeberg. It is one of the most important literary awards in Finland, second only to Finlandia Prize. The prize, worth 10,000 euros, is given out in two categories: fiction and children’s books. This year, 8 nominees were shortlisted from 246 submitted adult fiction titles. The winner will be announced on The Runeberg’s Day, the 5th of February 2021.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Radio Popov sold to Italian Salani and Russian Samokat!

Anja Portin’s Finlandia Junior Prize awarded Radio Popov has been acquired by one of the oldest and best known children’s book publishers in Italy, Salani.
In Russia, Radio Popov will be published by Samokat, also an awarded children’s book publisher.

Anja Portin’s Radio Popov has so far traveled to eight areas:
Bulgaria: Perseus
Denmark: Staarup & co.
Estonia: Ühinenud ajakirjad
Italy: Salani
Latvia: Janis Roze
Lithuania: Alma Littera
Netherlands: Ploegsma
Russia: Samokat

Salani is the Italian publisher of such authors as Roald Dahl, Astrid Lindgren, J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and Tove Jansson. Samokat publishes, among others, Roald Dahl, Tomi Ungerer, Ulf Stark, Maria Parr, and from Finland for example Tove Jansson and Siri Kolu.

The Finlandia Prize news can be found here.

First foreign rights sale for Finlandia Prize winner Margarita

We are so excited to announce that Estonian rights for this year’s Finlandia Prize winner, Anni Kytömäki’s novel Margarita has now been sold to Ühinenud Ajakirjad!

Margarita (2020)

The novel, also longlisted for the prestigious Runeberg Prize and named among the most interesting Finnish books published this year,  tells a story about a post-war country that is not unlike the one of today. The birth rate is low, and women are blamed and shamed for their personal choices. The increase of the economical welfare is at odds with protecting forests and environment in general. On top of all, deadly diseases are spreading, putting the people in danger and fear for their future.

Ühinenud Ajakirjad is one of the leading publishers in Estonia. They have previously acquired Estonian rights for Marcus Rosenlund’s phenomenal nonfiction The Weather that Changed the World and more recently, for this year’s Finlandia Junior winner Radio Popov by Anja Portin.

This is the first foreign rights sales for Kytömäki, and we are expecting more offers soon! Author’s debut novel Goldheart  (2015) was nominated for the Finlandia Prize and Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize, and it was awarded Gummerus’ Kaarle PrizeGoldheart  also received the Torch-Bearer Prize, given to the Finnish title with the most potential to succeed abroad, and it won the bloggers’ best book of the year award, Blogistanian Finlandia. In 2017, Kytömäki published the bestselling and critically acclaimed Stone Weaver.

Congratulations to the author!

The most interesting books of the year

Each year, Suomen kuvalehti newspaper announces a list of most interesting books of the year. HLA is thrilled to see several of its titles on the list!

In Under the Moon written by Aki-Pekka Sinikoski and illustrated by Ilja Karsikas, the mum has flown to the moon and the dad has changed workplaces from circus to post. The little child is happy to stay at home alone, as he then can be whatever he likes to be. Sadness in this book is dealt with in an incredibly beautiful and comforting way, blending it with the zest for life and adventures. One day, while taking his bath, the child dives under water and discovers an island, where he meets new friends and learns new, exciting things. Sinikoski’s text is full of philosophical reflections, and Karsikas’s dreamy and warm watercolour illustrations brings the text to life through fantastical characters and landscapes.

Katie-Kate (2020)

Anu Kaaja’s Katie-Kate is an outrageously grotesque novel about the Cinderella stories that the media offers us as well as dull, empty marriages that are filled with ideas about royalties, celebrities and porn stars. Kaaja’s book is a critical analysis of our society and time where Disney princesses, royal brides and topless starlets have more in common than one might think.

Margarita (2020)

Finlandia Prize winner Margarita by Anni Kytömäki is a novel about a post-war country that is not unlike the one of today. The birth rate is low, and women are blamed and shamed for their personal choices. The increase of the economical welfare is at odds with protecting forests and environment in general. On top of all, deadly diseases are spreading, putting the people in danger and fear.

REC (2020)

Marisha Rasi-Koskinen’s novel REC is a story about a possessive, even dangerous relationship. Lucas and Cole like to take pictures. Cole tells about his twin brother Nik that is held in a family basement. After a while, it becomes unclear if Nik really exists. The second part of the book is a collection of pictures and films, that take the reader to ten different stories. The novel is so restless and mysterious that it feels not at all unlikely that the pages would have a totally different story written on them the second time you read it. REC makes the world a little more magical place to live in.

Eva Frantz’s acclaimed crime books to be published in Sweden!

Wonderful news for Finland’s queen of crime Eva Frantz: Sekwa will start publishing her acclaimed Anna Glad series in Sweden!

Eva Frantz foto: Marica Rosengård

The publisher has acquired the rights for the third book in the series, Out of the Game (2020). The books, focusing on the police investigator Anna Glad, has been a critical and commercial success, selling nearly 40,000 copies altogether and receiving much praise from the crime fans. Moreover, the second Anna Glad book, The Eighth Maiden (2018), was awarded as the best crime novel of the year in 2019 and nominated for the prestigious Glass Key Award.

Sekwa is a Swedish publishing house specialising in translated contemporary literature. Founded in 2005, it has a strong list of well-written, entertaining and captivating literature.

One of the major newspapers in Finland, Hufvudstadsbladet, has stated about The Blue Villa:

“Last year, Eva Frantz proved her significant talent as a cozy crime fiction author with her book Summer Isle. […] In The BlueVilla she has taken a further step in combining premeditated horrors with the aptly portrayed everyday life. […] She has limitless skill in describing petty crime – from just-about legal malice and revenge to browbeating your family with shitty behaviour.”

About The Eighth Maiden, the paper has stated:

The crime plot is skillfully intertwined with a moral core. (…) Frantz is prompt and manages to capture something that is puzzling and frightening at the same time. (…) The Eighth Maiden explores the themes of abuse and sexual exploitation of young people, as well as the vicious culture of physical abuse that flourishes everywhere where there is money and power.

Previously this year, World English rights for Frantz’s ghost and horror story for the middle grade readers, Raspberry Hill, were sold to Pushkin Press.

Congratulations to the author and the lucky crime fans in Sweden!