December 9, 2016

Five for Friday: Finnish authors in 2016

Finn’s passion for words has sprouted numerous wordsmiths attracting international attention.
Finn’s passion for words has sprouted numerous wordsmiths attracting international attention.

With the top literacy rate in the world and an abundance of libraries on offer, it probably comes as no surprise that Finns love to read. Similarly unsurprising, such enthusiasm for the written word has resulted a flourishing author scene here. The world is now cottoning on to what’s cooking up north.

Tua Harno

Amazon Publishing acquired the world English rights to Harno’s Burnt Land (Oranssi maa in Finnish) back in March.

Thank you for this journey, my goodness what a treat,” commented Gabriella Page-Fort, senior acquisitions editor of Amazon Crossing. “I can feel the rains washing the dyes from my skin, and the crust of the earth breaking violently by our hand. What a novel.”

Salla Simukka

US-based Random House, acquired the world English rights of Simukka’s children’s novel Sisterland (Sisarla in Finnish) back in June.

Sisterland is magical writing at its best,” described Phoebe Yeh, VP publisher from Crown Books for Young Readers, which is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. “When readers enter into the Garden of Secrets, they will be treated to a mysterious fantasy world full of whimsy and wonder.”

Laura Lindstedt

Alongside Finland, the rights to Lindstedt’s acclaimed novel Oneiron, have been sold France, Sweden Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

“In 2015, Oneiron won Finland’s most prestigious literary honour, the Finlandia Prize,” we wrote back in January. “Lindstedt spent eight years writing the novel.”

Timo Parvela & Pasi Pitkänen

The translation rights to the six-part space adventure book series Kepler62, created by the duo, along with Bjørn Sortland from Norway, were sold to Éditions Nathan earlier this year. The series has already been sold to South Korea, Faroe Islands, Hungary, Turkey and Estonia.

“We fell in love with the modernity of the series and the fact that the story begins with a video game and evolves into a space adventure, not to mention its fabulous illustrations,” said Cécile Verdier from the French publishing house.

Linda Liukas

Liukas’ children’s programming book Hello Ruby broke records in Japan earlier this year.

“Programming is a mean of self-expression, just like legos and crayons,” Liukas said. “If we think JavaScript will be the lingua franca of the future, instead of only grammar classes we should be teaching our kids to write poetry.”