HarperVoyager has signed a debut from Finnish author Emmi Itaränta.
The two-book, five-figure deal for world English language rights was completed between Emma Coode, deputy publishing director at HarperVoyager, and Elina Ahlbäck of Elina Ahlbäck Literary Agency, Finland.
Itaränta, 36, lives in Canterbury and writes in both English and Finnish. Her first novel, Memory of Water, which was published in Finland in January 2012, won the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literary Contest organised by Finnish publisher Teos. This week, she picked up the €16,000 Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize for young authors in Helsinki.
Memory of Water will be published in the UK in spring 2014.
The book is set in a future Scandinavian Union where clean water is in short supply and most people survive on desalinated rations from the new government. There are serious consequences for water crime: if found guilty, people simply disappear, leaving behind a mysterious blue circle which appears on their doors.
Coode said: “It’s very rare that I come across a debut novel as powerful as Memory of Water. Emmi's novel was impossible to put down and she is clearly a talent with a bright future; I am thrilled that Voyager is to be a partner on her journey to stardom.”