We are proud to report that Emmi Itäranta has been awarded the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize 2013 for the most outstanding Finnish work of fiction published in 2012. The Prize is worth 1500 euros. Emmi Itäranta was awarded for her debut work, Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja, Teos 2012). Memory of Water tells the story of seventeen-year-old Noria, set to become the next tea master in her village. When her father dies, she finds herself alone with the dangerous responsibility of guarding a hidden spring that can save lives – or provoke people to kill.
Praise from the jury of the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize:
“Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta sparked discussion among the jury of the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize already at the early stages of the contest. Written in a lyrical and beautiful style, Memory of Water conjures up a future society that is a result of the indifference prevalent in our present-day society. The beautifully told story leads the reader to ponder on their own behaviour without pointing a finger.
The author uses language extremely skilfully, producing versatile text. The novel appealed to the jury also because it does not spell everything out, relying instead on the reader’s ability to understand, thus giving the story more space.
Emmi Itäranta combines successfully lyrical language and enthralling metaphors with a bleak depiction of a future with a shortage of water.
The language of the novel is fluent and beautiful. The repetition of certain sentences serves as an excellent stylistic device, with the phrases adopting a slightly different tone, depending on the context. “The ceremony is over when water has run out.”
WORLD ENGLISH, HarperCollins
ARABIC, Dar Al Muna
FRANCE, Place des Editeurs
GERMANY, DTV/Reihe Hanser
SPAIN, Ediciones B.
TURKEY, Dogan Egmont
Emmi Itäranta (b. 1976) holds two MA degrees, one in Drama and another in Creative Writing. Her award-winning debut novel Memory of Water was published in Finland in 2012, and it has earned her the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize 2012, the Teos Fantasy and Scifi Literary Prize 2011 and the nomination for the Tähtivaeltaja Award 2013.
Emmi writes fiction in Finnish and English, and is currently working on her second novel. Her CV is an eclectic mix of writing-related activities, including stints as a columnist, theatre critic, press officer and dramaturge. Her poems, short stories, articles and essays have appeared in anthologies, film magazines and science fiction magazines in the UK and Finland. She lives in Canterbury, United Kingdom. www.emmiitaranta.com
Please ask the Agency for the full English text and the Finnish PDF.