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Matias Riikonen

©Teos

Matias Riikonen: Matara

Winner of the Tulenkantaja Prize 2021, nominated for the Finlandia and Runeberg Prizes.

Matara is about an imaginary micro nation founded by a group of boys called Matara. This fictional state is a complex society based on the Roman empire with all its rules, hierarchies and complicated infrastructure. Senators scheme in togas made of sheets, mannequins make for wives, and circus entertainments are devised to thrill the charcoal-whiskered rabble. At times one forgets one is reading a portrayal of boys at play and fears one is reading a description of reality.

Original title: Matara. Teos 2021, 310 pp.
Foreign rights: Helsinki Literary Agency, helsinkiagency.fi

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E.L. Karhu

©Liisa Takala

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E. L. Karhu: To My Brother

A masterful and sometimes brutal tale of an anonymous woman who dotes on her very different brother. She emerges as a sort of anti-hero, an almost ugly character who is bound compulsively to her desires, while her brother is described as a handsome dreamboat. She doesn’t manage to fit inside the norms of the day, while her brother more clearly does. If someone were to look at her, they might see a loser who binges on sweets, devours soap operas, and trails her brother like a shadow but whose manic narration forces one to stare, to look more closely.
To My Brother is an absurd bildungsroman germinating from internalized self-hatred, one that takes place at the fringes if the center is a multi-part mirror.

Original title: Veljelleni. Teos 2021, 288 pp.
Foreign rights: Helsinki Literary Agency, helsinkiagency.fi

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Maisku Myllymäki

©Tomi Reunanen

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Maisku Myllymäki: Holly

A hypnotising and fervent novel about two very different women and a psychological suspense story about isolation.

Eva, who works as a journalist for a nature magazine, arrives on an island in search of a rare bird. She doesn’t know Holly, the woman who made the sighting. As she walks the island in search of the bird, focus gradually begins to turn on the two women and their relationship. They seem to have nothing at all in common and the loneliness on this faded island is far from silent. The novel takes its cue from Iris Murdoch’s novel The Sea, the Sea, which is Holly’s favorite book. The pace of the novel is thrilling, filled to the brim with meaning.

Original title: Holly. WSOY 2021, 225 pp.
Foreign rights: Ferly, ferlyco.com

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Meri Valkama

©Otto Virtanen

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Meri Valkama: Yours, Margot

Winner of the Debut of the the Year Prize 2021.

A fascinating debut novel about the fragility of memory and the power of silence, but also about the collapse of a nation as well as the right to feel nostalgic for a fallen society.

In the early 80’s, Markus Siltanen moves with his family to East Berlin as a foreign correspondent. When the family eventually returns to Finland, Vilja’s childhood memories begin to dissolve into nothingness. In 2011, after her father’s death, Vilja finds a bundle of letters from someone called Margot with whom her father had a passionate affair in Berlin. Vilja makes a decision to track Margot and returns to Berlin.
Meri Valkama approaches the crumbling of family ties, remembrance and forgetting, and the need to understand the past in order to move on.

Original title: Sinun, Margot. WSOY 2022, 556 pp.
Foreign rights: Bonnier Rights Finland, bonnierrights.fi

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Iida Rauma

©Marek Sabogal

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Iida Rauma: Destruction

A case study of an individual who was nearly destroyed and all that is being destroyed right now.

Destruction is about bullying and the violent and long-lasting effects it has on children growing up with fear. 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. A cruel, precise and breathless description of many years of oppression, psychological trauma and even outright physical violence.

Original title: Hävitys. Siltala 2021, 370 pp.
Foreign rights: Helsinki Literary Agency, helsinkiagency.fi

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Jukka Viikilä

©Jonne Räsänen/Otava

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Jukka Viikilä: Heavenly Reception

Winner of the Finlandia Prize 2021.

Author Jan Holm is undergoing urgent surgery: the blood in his heart has been circulating in the wrong direction for who knows how long. After leaving the hospital, Holm publishes a personal novel of which everyone will soon have an opinion.
Heavenly Reception is a novel of a thousand subjects and persons with a strong personal core, a commentary, research, glossary, feedback and google search, a wild explanation work and, above all, a polyphonic story about the readers of Helsinki who in return tell about the events in their lives and reading Heavenly Reception. The text is fragmentary, both confusing and well-managed, but isn’t a challenge to read thanks to the dazzling language. A work about loneliness, serious illness and metafiction.

Original title: Taivaallinen vastaanotto. Otava 2021, 377 pp.
Foreign rights: Rights & Brands, rightsandbrands.com

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Pekka Juntti

©Antti J. Leinonen

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Pekka Juntti: Wild Dog

A strong debut novel, set in the forgotten villages of Lapland where people and trees take care of each other.

When Samuel finds out that Nanok and Inuk, two of the prestigious mushing dogs, have gone lost and within only a few days have gone wild and learned to hunt, the young man is determined to track the huskies down. On the way, he stumbles upon too many village secrets and is ostracized by his community. He ventures deeper and deeper into the wilderness of the breathtaking Arctic landscape, and in a near-death experience learns that there are still places where nature is predominant.
Wild Dog tackles humanity’s relationship with nature, especially how humans have taken control of flatland’s gorgeous waterways and cut down its magnificent forests. A gripping plot carries this story along, knitting together all of its important topics.

Original title: Villikoira. Otava 2022, 352 pp.
Foreign rights: Rights & Brands, rightsandbrands.com

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Katariina_Vuori©Ville_Juurikkala

©Ville Juurikkala

Katariina Vuori: Across the Sea, Towards the Past – How I Fell in Love with a Dead Sea Captain

A fascinating narrative non-fiction work about love, memory and two sea journeys.

In the era of the dreaded great famine at the end of the 19th century, sea captain Fridolf Höök leads a group of Finns across the waters, and over into the backlands of Siberia. The life story of this charismatic adventurer clearly enraptures the author. Through studying the captain’s exploits, Katariina Vuori is cast into the currents of her own past, a youthful sea journey when the open water was her only home.

Original title: Merireittejä menneisyyteen – Kun rakastuin kuolleeseen merikapteeniin. Like 2022, 397 pp.
Foreign rights: Like Publishing, like.fi,

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Ulla Tuomainen

©Helena Hiltunen

Ulla Tuomainen: Sexual Nature – Mate Choice, Sex and Family Life in the World of Animals

Feathers fly, scales dance and horns clash, there is interior decorating of fine nests, gifts exchanged, matrimonies tied and severed. When what is at stake is the passing on of a creature’s genes, all is fair in nature and the array of behaviors is dazzlingly broad. The information in this book by evolutionary biologist Ulla Tuomainen has been peer reviewed, but above all it is a sensible and enjoyable work of science literacy. You’ll never look the same way at the little birds jumping around in your yard or even a barnacle on the bottom of a boat.

Original title: Eläimellistä parinvalintaa – Seksi ja perhe-elämä eläinten maailmassa.
Gaudeamus 2022, 325 pp.
Foreign rights: Gaudeamus, gaudeamus.fi,

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Tiina Raevaara. Kuva Toni Härkönen 2020

©Toni Härkönen

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Tiina Raevaara: Me, My Dog and Humanity: A History of Coexistence Between Species

What does the human-animal connection mean from the perspective of evolution and humanity?

Tiina Raevaara, writer, science journalist and biologist with a PhD in genetics, begins with her own burnout symptoms and how she preferred the company of animals over that of people. From this starting point, the story broadens into a description of the cohabitation of dogs and humans, its history and psychology, expanding to include the significance of living with other animals as well from an evolutionary point of view. The current ascendancy of mankind is, according to her, not a result of humanity’s innate superiority, but a result of its connections and relationships to other species.

Original title: Minä, koira ja ihmiskunta: lajien välisen yhteiselon historia. Like 2022, 317 pp.
Foreign rights: Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, ahlbackagency.com

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Osmo Tapio Räihälä

©Atena

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Osmo Tapio Räihälä: Why Is Contemporary Music So Difficult?

Winner of the Non-Fiction Finlandia Prize 2021.

Composer Osmo Tapio Räihälä describes – not without humour – music composing and listening both from a historical and a personal point of view. He guides the reader playfully, expertly and comprehensively into the world of contemporary music. He writes about both pop music and more traditional classical works, discusses the connections between rock art music and visual art while contemplating on the meaning of art itself.

Original title: Miksi nykymusiikki on niin vaikeaa.
Atena 2021, 250 pp.
Foreign rights: Sebes & Bisseling, sebesbisseling.se,

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J. Sakari Salonen: Five Apocalypses

Lauri Jäntti Non-Fiction Prize 2022.

In Five Apocalypses, geoscientist and palaeoclimatologist J. Sakari Salonen focuses on those dark moments in pre-history when life on planet earth has been wiped out almost entirely and what we think caused them, but also gazes into the possible threats for the future. Can a comet or gamma radiation be the next apocalypse? Is a new ice age waiting for us? Salonen also reminds us that, if human beings can have a big impact on the planet, it also means that the keys to a better future are in our own hands.

Original title: Viisi maailmanloppua.
Gaudeamus 2021, 285 pp.
Foreign rights: Gaudeamus, gaudeamus.fi,

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Malin Kivelä, Martin Glaz Serup & Linda Bondestam: If You Meet a Bear

Nominated for the 2022 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize and for the August Prize 2021 in the category Best Swedish Children’s Book.

Many of us have attended scout camp, wandered in the berry forest or been on an excursion and feared of bumping into a bear. In this book filled with offbeat humor, authors Malin Kivelä and Martin Glaz Serup advise a child who actually encounters one. When faced with such a challenge, good advice is precious. This both funny and informative story is brought to life by awarded illustrator Linda Bondestam’s expressive artwork that captures the contrast between the dangers of the dark forest and exuberant storytelling.

Original title: Om du möter en björn. Förlaget 2021, 32 pp.
Foreign rights: Rights & Brands, rightsandbrands.com

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Karisto. J.S. Meresmaa. Kuvattu 21.6.2021 Tampereella. Kuva: Laura Vesa

©Laura Vesa

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J. S. Meresmaa: Maybe We’ll (Feed) Meet Later

The protagonist Aleksi is a nerd whose ambitious goal is to make it to the local e-sport championship games with his friend Roope. After a session not-gone-well he ends up in an ice-cream parlor and meets Nora, a fabulous Gothic girl who turns out to be a 132 years old vampire. Nora is hungry and lures Aleksi in an isolated bunker but her evil little brother Kaspar gets involved and ruins her plans. Nora promises not to harm Aleksi if he in turn should teach her how to play videogames.

This bloodthirsty fantasy thriller, glowing with the immortal enchantment of vampires, holds its grip until the last page.

Original title: Kenties tapa(a)n sinut vielä.
Karisto 2022, 132 pp.
Foreign rights: Ferly, ferlyco.com

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Tero Mielonen & Mari Ahokoivu: I’ll Become a Researcher

A wonderfully informative book on how interests and hobbies that are fostered at a young age can help people find their place as professional researchers later in life.

South American Kat used to examine the starry skies with her father and now her job is to search for new planets. Marjane loved hunting for treasures, and she became an archeologist who solves the mysteries of ancient cultures. Eduardo loved playing video games; he did not become a professional gamer, but now he creates climate models and ponders what our world will be like in a hundred years. This book shows that anyone can become a researcher by following their passion.

Original title: Maailman tutkijat. Ursa 2021, 53 pp.
Foreign rights: Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, ahlbackagency.com

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Veera Salmi

©Dorit Salutskij

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Veera Salmi: The Book of Oboi

A spectacular novel about a world where literacy has been decimated and a boy who does not believe in stories.

Thirteen-year-old orphaned Oboi has run away to find his former homestead. He ends up in a peculiar and disaster-stricken mountain city where no one knows how to read. People are led by the mysterious Wanda, who, via devices hooked up to one’s palm, says what everyone should know or do. At a flea market, Oboi meets a woman who gives him a book. According to her, this book can change everything and help find what Oboi thought was lost forever. Suddenly the story-averse Oboi notices that he has become the hero deemed to save the whole world. The story avoid being preachy and is a multi-layered, finely constructed fantasy novel and a fantastic tale of adventure.

Original title: Oboin kirja. Otava 2022, 304 pp.
Foreign rights: Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, ahlbackagency.com

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