Elina Backman: Polarnacht
Saana Havas series
Piper, München. Publication: 8/2024. Translator: Alena Vogel
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Ennen kuin tulee pimeää, Otava 2022)
FILI Reads In 1998, a young girl, Inga, was murdered in Angeli in Northern Finland, but the case was never solved. Inga’s sister Heta asks Saana Havas, a true-crime podcaster, to make a podcast about Inga’s fate. Saana travels north, only to find that people are still not ready to talk. But then another girl disappears. An irresistible blend of traditional crime novel and psychological thriller from Finnish Lapland!
Hanna Brotherus: Mein einziges Zuhause
Ullstein, Berlin. Publication: 6/2024. Translator: Elina Kritzokat
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Ainoa kotini, WSOY 2021)
FILI Reads In Hanna Brotherus’s debut novel, the protagonist explores the stages of a woman’s life and her relationship to her own body in an unvarnished and empathetic way. Her thoughts return to her emotionally repressed childhood home and she realises how obsessive her relationship to her own body and other women’s bodies is – and that eating disorders have run through her family for generations. A brave, empowering novel about a woman’s life and taking control of her own body.
Eva Frantz: Der Tod in den Schären
Anna Glad series
Aufbau, Berlin. Publication: 3/2024. Translator: Leena Flegler
Helsinki Literary Agency (För han var redan död, Schildts & Söderströms 2020)
crime fiction, FinnNoir
FILI Reads Out of the Game is the latest instalment in the skilful Anna Glad series of stand-alone crime novels. In this outstanding example of Finnish Noir, the inhabitants of a small town are both divided and bound together by the secrets of the past. A brilliant author of classic puzzle mysteries, Eva Frantz ranks among such queens of the genre as Agatha Christie, Maria Lang and Camilla Läckberg.
Terhi Kokkonen: Arctic Mirage
Hanser Berlin, Berlin. Publication: 1/2024. Translator: Elina Kritzokat
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Rajamaa, Otava 2020)
FILI Reads Winner of the 2020 Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for a debut novel. “The intense and multidimensional Arctic Mirage starts like a psychological suspense play, but it soon breaks all expectations of what happens between people and in their minds”. A psychological novel whose skewed world combines the intense atmosphere of a luxury arctic resort with a completely original horror thriller. Like Twin Peaks set in Lapland!
Leena Lehtolainen: Schritt ins Dunkel: Maria Kallio ermittelt
Maria Kallio series
Rowohlt, Hamburg. Publication: 1/2024. Translator: Gabriele Schrey-Vasara
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Pimeän risteys, Tammi 2023)
crime fiction, FinnNoir
FILI Reads The city of Espoo is plagued by a youth gang that steals designer clothes, phones and jewellery, and emulates roadman culture and the criminal lifestyle. An underaged gang member, already well-known to the police, is found murdered. Maria’s team, which specialises in crimes committed by children and young people, is running out of money, but Maria is determined to solve the crime before she’s out of a job. Once again Maria Kallio is forced to take a step into the dark.
Rosa Liksom: Über den Strom
Penguin Verlag, München. Publication: 6/2024. Translator: Stefan Moster
Paloma Agency (Väylä, Like 2021)
FILI Reads September 1944. Tens of thousands of people abandon their homes to escape the devastation known as the Lapland War. In the midst of it all is a young girl whose family has been torn apart by the war and who has been left to tend the cattle at their farm. With some other children from the village, she starts to drive the cows to safety towards the big river that forms the border with Sweden, hoping she will find her parents in one of the many refugee camps. Liksom’s breathtaking novel depicts the experience of fleeing war from the perspective of a child and a herder, and the author’s wonderful language makes the novel all the more touching.
Eeva Louko: Kalte Flut
Ronja Vaara series
Heyne, München. Publication: 7/2024. Translator: Anu Katariina Lindemann.
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Onnellisten saari, Otava 2022)
crime fiction, FinnNoir
FILI Reads Ronja has lived abroad for years and is on her way home to visit when she hears that her father has been found strangled on a beach in Lauttasaari, a Finnish suburb on an island. Ronja sets out to uncover her estranged father’s background, and little by little, the close-knit community begins to unravel its secrets. The first instalment in a new detective series, Louko’s novel is a perfect blend of captivating plot twists and delectable interpersonal conflicts.
Hanna Meretoja: Die Nacht der alten Feuer
Mareverlag, Hamburg. Publication: 9/2024. Translator: Stefan Moster
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Elotulet, WSOY 2022)
FILI Reads In her debut novel, Hanna Meretoja beautifully articulates the thoughts and feelings that come with serious illness. The book is based on the author’s own experiences after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The novel’s multifaceted approach provides peer support, comfort and food for thought for those who have faced serious illness. The Night of Ancient Lights also addresses more general concerns: pandemics, environmental threats and other looming global crises.
Matias Riikonen: Matara
Karl Rauch Verlag, Düsseldorf. Publication: 8/2024. Translator: Maximilian Murmann
Helsinki Literary Agency (Matara, Teos 2021)
FILI Reads Matias Riikonen’s widely acclaimed, award-winning novel is a story about the serious fantasy games of childhood. Boys at a summer camp spend their days in a realm of their own invention, the Republic of Matara, with its own laws and social structure, plots and alliances. Riikonen’s fourth novel takes children seriously in a way few other works do. In Riikonen’s hands, the birdsong-filled woods of early summer and the violence and tenderness of the boys meld into superb, startling literature. This is a book about war games and brotherhood, about building a society and then destroying it, about believing in your dreams and then finding new dreams to believe in. It’s a book about becoming one’s own self – it’s about us.
Satu Rämö: Hildur - Das Grab im Eis
Heyne, München. Publication: 4/2024. Translator: Gabriele Schrey-Vasara
Bonnier Rights Finland (Rósa & Björk, WSOY 2023)
crime fiction, FinnNoir
FILI Reads Herman Hermansson, an influential Icelandic politician, is shot dead while skiing. An influential doctor who was friends with the dead man dies in a plane crash shortly afterwards, and detective Hildur Rúnarsdóttir and her team take up the investigation. At the same time, she continues to investigate the disappearance of her sisters and has to face the fact that her parents were not who she thought they were. A cold case and the dark secrets of a close-knit community intertwine in this bracing crime novel with a twist. With a unique blend of Finnish and Icelandic sensibility, Hildur launches a fresh voice in Finnish Noir, with a pinch of folkloric mysticism!
Satu Rämö: Hildur - Der Schatten des Nordlichts
Heyne, München. Publication: 10/2024. Translator: Gabriele Schrey-Vasara
Bonnier Rights Finland (Jakob, WSOY 2023)
crime fiction, FinnNoir
FILI Reads In the third book of the Hildur series, it’s the darkest time of the year in the village of Ísafjörður. As Christmas approaches, the village is shocked by the discovery of a corpse in a fish farming pond. Detective Hildur Rúnarsdóttir and Finnish police trainee Jakob Johanson have barely started their investigation when another equally bizarre homicide takes place in another remote corner of Iceland, soon followed by a third. On the personal front, Jakob does everything he can to win a difficult custody battle for his child. How far is Jakob prepared to go in his struggle? Hildur is Finland’s number-one bestselling series, with 330 000 copies sold in 2023.
Pirkko Saisio: Gegenlicht
Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart. Publication: 3/2024. Translator: Elina Kritzokat
Helsinki Literary Agency (Vastavalo, WSOY 2000)
FILI Reads Pirkko Saisio’s magnificent autofiction trilogy carries the reader through the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of a girl who wanted to be a boy and started referring to herself as “her” when she was eight years old. The strong themes of the trilogy – the relationship between individual and society, sexuality, being queer and finding your voice – are told in a fragmentary, lyrical style, fitting Saisio herself. In this second part of the trilogy, the city of Helsinki becomes one of the main characters, changing dramatically from one decade to the next. The work of a master storyteller!
Pirkko Saisio: The Lowest Common Multiple
Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart. Publication: 9/2024. Translator: Elina Kritzokat
Helsinki Literary Agency (Pienin yhteinen jaettava, WSOY 1998)
FILI Reads Lowest Common Multiple (1998) is the first part of Saisio’s magnificent Helsinki trilogy. In the beginning of the novel, the main character, “she”, is already a middle-aged mother. When her father dies, her memories take her back to her childhood in the 1950s – to a story that is also about to change. Each of the trilogy’s three novels was nominated for Finland’s biggest literary award, the Finlandia Prize, with The Red Book of Farewells finally winning it. The trilogy has sold over 80,000 copies in Finland and is rapidly gaining momentum worldwide.
Pajtim Statovci: Meine Katze Jugoslawien
Luchterhand, München. Publication: 4/2024. Translator: Stefan Moster.
The Wylie Agency (Kissani Jugoslavia, Otava 2014)
FILI Reads A boy grows up in a cold new homeland, where those who have come from elsewhere are expected to make do with little. The boy decides to buy himself an exotic pet, a king boa. The snake and a beautiful cat, found in a bar, lead the protagonist on an incredible journey into the layers of the past. A magical debut novel about a family torn from its roots, impossible love and the fear of death, told in a narrative that is in turns realistic and dreamlike. The brilliant My Cat Yugoslavia received widespread acclaim among critics and readers alike, winning Statovci the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and earning a spot on the longlist for the International Dublin Literary Award.
Arttu Tuominen: Was wir Ihnen antun
Bastei Lübbe, Köln. Publication: 12/2024. Translator: Anke Michler-Janhunen
Bonnier Rights Finland (Häväistyt, WSOY 2022)
crime fiction, FinnNoir
FILI Reads In the fourth book of the Delta series, the police investigate the disappearance and subsequent murder of a high-school girl, which leads them into the world of criminals hiding on the internet. Investigator Linda Toivonen’s traumatic journey from model to alcoholic single parent is also explored in the book, with Tuominen again highlighting the humanity and vulnerability of his protagonists. Was wir ihnen antun is a crime novel about today and the threats faced by young people in the world of the internet. Authentic and affecting Finnish Noir!
Iida Turpeinen: Beasts of The Sea
S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin. Publication: 10/2024. Translator: Maximilian Murmann
Helsinki Literary Agency (Elolliset, S&S 2023)
FILI Reads This brilliant debut novel skilfully combines natural science and fiction over a span of three centuries, describing the destruction caused by humans in the name of progress and civilisation: the Steller’s sea cow, whose story smoothly ties the parts of the novel together, was hunted to extinction only a few decades after its discovery. All of the novel’s characters were real, historical figures. Iida Turpeinen’s debut is also a complete masterpiece in terms of language and story, which she uses to masterfully intertwine the thought-worlds and characters of each era. Fiction at its best, and a world-class piece of literature that nevertheless leaves you first and foremost with hope for a better future!
Maria Turtschaninoff: Inherited Land
Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg. Publication: 09/2024. Translator: Ulla Ackermann.
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Arvejord, Förlaget 2022)
FILI Reads This story – or rather, these stories – pull you in right away. Without a doubt, Turtschaninoff is one of the best storytellers in Finnish literature, someone you want to listen to and who has something to say. Inherited Land is a multigenerational story about the interaction between humans and nature. It’s also a story about how people and places are connected to each other, about how the memory of a place fades over generations and about what responsibility we ultimately have for places. A wise, beautiful and occasionally even titillating book.
Meri Valkama: Deine Margot
Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt am Main. Publication: 2024/02. Translator: Angela Plöger
Bonnier Rights Finland (Sinun, Margot, WSOY 2021)
FILI Reads 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 ’80s, Markus Siltanen moves with his family to East Berlin to work as a foreign correspondent. In 2011, after Markus’s death, his daughter Vilja finds a bundle of letters from someone called Margot with whom her father had a passionate affair. She returns to Berlin to track Margot down. Yours, Margot weaves together Europe’s recent history, a beautifully told love story and the intriguing mystery of the main character’s past. A meaningful story of discovering one’s past that also reflects on the history of ideas.
Children's & Young Adult Books
Ted Forsström & Åsa Lucander: Stella
Mixtvision, München. Publication: 6/2024. Translator: Cordula Setsman. Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Snälla Stella, sluta skälla!, Förlaget 2023)
FILI Reads An interactive and playful bedtime story that offers something new by presenting the dog Stella from the dog’s own perspective. The book’s warm tone and its unusual mix of familiar everyday things and imaginative nonsense will bring a smile to your lips, and the situations it depicts will be familiar to anyone who has tried to combine quality family time with having a pet. Nominated for the Finlandia Prize in Children’s and Youth Literature in 2023, this enchanting and playful chaos-at-bedtime-story offers something different than the typical struggle between parent and child.
Riikka Jäntti: Little Mouse. Das Zeltabenteuer
Cross Cult, Ludwigsburg. Publication: 3/2024. Translator: Ilse Winkler Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Pikku hiiri telttaretkellä, Tammi 2021)
Tiina Nopola & Sinikka Nopola: Chaoskrümel & Nervensäge feiern Weihnachten
arsEdition, München. Publication: 10/2024. Translator: Tanja Küddelsmann. Bonnier Rights Finland (Heinähattu, Vilttitossu ja jouluvintiö, Tammi 2017)
FILI Reads Christmas is only a week away, and Ficelle can’t stop worrying about whether she’ll get enough presents. She gets the brilliant idea of dressing up as a pauper with a sign reading: ‘Giv pour child pressents”, but has no real success. A multitude of comical blunders fills the long week before the much-anticipated arrival of Father Christmas and the true gift of the day. The beloved duo Ruby and Ficelle bring fun mishaps, chaos and hullabaloo to the Christmas season!
Kaisa Paasto: Anni auf dem roten Teppich
Loewe, Bindlach. Publication 3/2024. Translator: Tanja Küddelsman Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Anni kaverinkesyttäjä punaisella matolla, Tammi 2021)
FILI Reads Anni's class is shown a news clip about a hurricane in Brazil and she wants to do something to help the victims. Together with her friend Ria she decides to make a film and organise a charity screening but things don’t go as planned and the project is hijacked by “the pink girls”! Is her friendship with Ria in danger? Anni series has been praised for its sensitive approach to emotions and friendship.
Timo Parvela: Schatten – Die Macht des Lichts
arsEdition, München. Publication: 1/2024. Translator: Stefan Moster Bonnier Rights Finland (Varjot 3, Krampus, Tammi 2022)
FILI Reads Are shadows taking over the world? Parvela and Pitkänen’s thrilling adventure series culminates with Pete and Sara returning from Auroria to the human world and facing a distorted reality. People have lost their shadows, and the world has become a place where everyone cares only about themselves. Krampus, the Lord of Darkness, stirs up hatred and anger but Pete and Sara don't give up hope. They not only want to save their own world, but also the kingdom of Auroria.
Sanna Pelliccioni: Onnis grosse Reise
Edition Bracklo, Birkenwerder. Publication: 2/2024. Translator: Janina Otto Etana Editions (Onni-pojan mahtava matka, Minerva 2008)
FILI Reads Onni goes abroad with his mum and dad to visit his cousin Elviira, traveling by plane and train. A colourful travel book in the popular series for toddlers.
Sanna Pelliccioni: Onnis Recycling-Buch
Edition Bracklo, Birkenwerder. Publication: 7/2024. Translator: Janina Otto Etana Editions (Onni-pojan kierrätyskirja, Minerva 2008)
FILI Reads Onni is small, but he already knows how to sort the rubbish from his meals into different containers. When he and Daddy take out the full containers, Daddy gets the idea to build a ship from a cardboard box and a variety of recycled materials. Now the whole family can start recycling with Onni!
Ninka Reittu: Tilda und Pony Törtchen
Fischer Kinder- und Jugendtaschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main. Publication: 4/2024. Translator: Anu Stohner. Rights & Brands (Ystäväni Pulla Vehnänen, Otava 2021)
FILI Reads Tilda finally gets a pony, but the stubborn pony doesn’t want to be ordered around and certainly doesn’t want a saddle on her back! How is this friendship supposed to work out?
Veera Salmi: Das Buch des Oboi
Cross Cult, Ludwigsburg. Publication: 2/2024. Translator: Alena Vogel. Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Oboin kirja, Otava 2022)
FILI Reads A spectacular novel about a world where the ability to read and write has been wiped out, and about a boy who doesn’t believe in stories. Until one day, a woman at a flea market gives him a book.
Salla Savolainen: Asphalt!
Carl Hanser, München. Publication: 7/2024. Translator: Elina Kritzokat Rights & Brands (Asfalttia!, WSOY 2021)
FILI Reads Grab your hard hat and work gloves and dive deep into a construction site! Asphalt! takes you into the world of cement mixers, diggers, bulldozers, dump trucks, rumbling rollers, graders and pavers. Readers are treated to fascinating contraptions, loads of information and plenty of action. Learning about building roads has never been so much fun!
Jessikka Aro: Moskaus Schattenkrieg
Goldmann by Penguin Random House, München. Publication 6/2024. Translator: Tanja Küddelsman, Reetta Karjalainen Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Putinin maailmansota: Venäjän salaiset operaatiot Lännen tuhoamiseksi, Johnny Kniga 2024)
FILI Reads Jessikka Aro’s new non-fiction book about the Kremlin’s world war unveils horrifying real-life accounts of secret operations conducted by Putin’s intelligence agencies. Award-winning journalist Jessikka Aro is an expert in Russian information warfare. A breathtaking journey into the heart of Putin’s hybrid warfare.
Sofi Oksanen: Putins Krieg gegen die Frauen
Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln. Publication: 2/2024. Translator: Angela Plöger, Maximilian Murmann Salomonsson Agency (Samaan virtaan – Putinin sota naisia vastaan, Like 2023)
FILI Reads Same River Twice is an impactful book-length essay that argues that Russia is repeating its old playbook in Ukraine, a playbook first executed by Catherine the Great in Crimea in 1783, and later on a larger and bloodier scale by Stalin and the Soviet Union. Same River Twice is a story of war and of women, of women’s rights and the importance of lifting their voices.
Tiina Raevaara: Warum uns Hunde glücklich machen
Knesebeck Verlag, München. Publication 4/2024. Translator: Tanja Küddelsman, Reetta Karjalainen Elina Ahlback Literary Agency (Minä, koira ja ihmiskunta, Like 2022)
FILI Reads Me, My Dog and Humanity deals with the history of the coexistence of species. The author openly discusses her own burnout, social sensitivity and excessive empathy, and seeks an explanation for them from research and an evolutionary perspective. Raevaara combines her personal reflections with research to explore the shared journey of humans and dogs. The book offers a captivating perspective on the essence of human nature and its connection to the natural world.