Internationally Acclaimed Debut Author Emmi Itäranta Celebrates U.S. Publication of Memory of Water
with Book Launch at Finnish Consulate in New York & Appearance at Book Expo America
“Where Itäranta shines is in her rejection of conventional plots and in her understated but compelling characters.
The work is a deceptively tranquil examination of a world of dust and ashes where the tenacious weed of hope still survives.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Harper Voyager U.S. is proud to introduce American readers to an exquisite new voice in fiction: Finnish author Emmi Itäranta, whose globally celebrated debut novel, Memory of Water (originally published asTeemestarin kirja, by in Teos 2012), has received a number of European book prizes and has recently earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly, one of America’s most respected book trade publications.
Itäranta has been invited to the United States by the Finnish government to celebrate the U.S. publication of her novel, and she will be the guest of honor at a book launch event hosted by the Consul General of Finland, Ambassador Jukka Pietikäinen, at his New York residence. This event will be supplemented by a special advance signing of Memory of Water at Book Expo America, on Saturday, May 31 at 11 a.m., at the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Booth (2561).
Harper Voyager U.S., along with Harper Voyager UK, was quite excited to acquire Memory of Water, which received the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize in 2013; the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize in 2012; the Teos Fantasy and SciFi Literary Contest (2011), and was also nominated for the Tähtivaeltaja Science Fiction Award in 2013. “It’s rare that we come across a debut as powerfully written as Memory of Water,” says William Morrow / Harper Voyager senior editor Emily Krump. “My international colleagues all agree that Emmi’s novel is absolutely impossible to put down, and she has a very bright future.” Harper Voyager’s editorial team likens Itäranta’s voice and scoping dystopic future vision to the works of Ursula K. LeGuin and Margaret Atwood.
Finnish Consul General Jukka Pietikäinen praises Itäranta, saying, “With the global and critical success of her debut book, Emmi Itäranta has quickly established herself as one of the crown jewels of the Finnish literary scene.” Pietkäinen continues, “We are excited to celebrate with Emmi and her World English publisher, HarperCollins, the introduction to her book to an English-language readership. Watching Finnish literature reach growing international audiences over the past few years has been thrilling.”
Rights to Memory of Water (Teos 2012) have been sold in 14 territories to date, including Finland (Teos), World English (Harper Voyager), Arabic (Dar Al Muna), Brazil (Record), Czech (Plus), Denmark (Turbine), Estonia (Koolibri), France (Place des Editeurs), Germany (DTV/Reihe Hanser), Italy (Piemme), Japan (Nishimura Shoten), Spain (Ediciones B.) and Turkey (Dogan Egmont). Rights to Itäranta’s works are handled by Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, which opens a New York office in May.
About Memory of Water:
Breathtaking in scope, written in fluid prose, the novel was simultaneously written in Finnish and English by Itäranta, while she was working towards her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, UK. Memory of Water features a young heroine struggling with a difficult legacy, coming to terms with the dangerous reality that too much knowledge brings power…and vulnerability.
Global warming has changed the world’s geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria’s father tends, which once provided water for her whole village. But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father’s death the army starts watching their town—and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship. Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible.
About the Author:
Emmi Itäranta was born in Tampere, Finland, where she also grew up. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Tampere and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, UK, where she began writing her debut novel Teemestarin kirja (literal translation: The Tea Master’s Book) under the titleMemory of Water. Itäranta wrote the full text in both Finnish and English, and an excerpt of the novel appeared in the Canterbury Laureate Anthology On the Line in 2010. In 2011, Teemestarin kirja won the Sci-fi and Fantasy Literary Contest organized by the Finnish publishing house Teos. Itäranta’s professional background includes stints as a columnist, theatre critic, dramaturge, scriptwriter and press officer. She lives in Canterbury, UK, and has recently entered the strange world of writing full time.