Maresi (Schildts & Söderströms 2014), the latest YA novel by author Maria Turtschaninoff, has been given the respected Svenska YLE Literature Prize, awarded annually to an outstanding work by a Swedish-Finnish author. Swedish YLE is part of Finland’s national public broadcasting company. We congratulate Maria on another well-deserved honour!
A full English text of Maresi will be available in December.
From the prize jury:
“With Maresi, Maria Turtschaninoff adds another wonderful dimension to the mythical world she created in her previous fantasy novels. The island of Menos, with its Mediterranean scents and bird cries, is a women’s refuge and centre of ancient knowledge. The story of Maresi and her sisters in the abbey has clear parallels to the struggles and oppression of women today, making Maresi a poignant and current youth novel.”
– Svenska YLE Literature Prize jury
Turtschaninoff’s works, set in a historically inspired fantasy world, have a distinctive female perspective with strong echoes of J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin. During her career she has been nominated, for example, for the Finlandia Junior Prize and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Maresi is the first book in an upcoming trilogy, the Red Abbey Chronicles, that will also include a prequel and a sequel. Rights to Maresi have so far been sold in Sweden and Denmark.
About the Red Abbey Chronicles:
Maresi, Book I: The Red Abbey, located on a small island, is a refuge and a haven for girls. One of them is Maresi, a thoughtful and empathetic 13-year-old who fled here from famine and poverty four years ago. She loves learning and books, and spends her time in the vast library in the House of Knowledge. The dangers of the outside world enter the island in the form of Jai, a girl who has fled her home after seeing her father and uncle bury her sister alive for speaking to a young man. Soon Jai’s father and a crew of hired thugs arrive on the island in an attempt to steal her away, and Maresi is confronted with her worst fears: she can no longer hide in books and words but must be the one who acts.
A prequel to Maresi, Book II (Schildts & Söderströms) will tell the story of the First Sisters, and how they came to flee a harem in the faraway Eastern Lands and eventually establish the Red Abbey.
A sequel to Maresi, Book III (Schildts & Söderströms) will follow Maresi after she leaves the Red Abbey and sets out to establish a school in the oppressed province of Rovas.
Original publisher: FINLAND, Schildts & Söderströms
Reading materials: The Red Abbey Chronicles
Book I, Maresi: English sample and synopsis
Full English text available in December
Book II, sequel to Maresi: English synopsis