The Bystander by Saara Turunen sold to Sweden

We are absolutely thrilled to share these news: The Bystander by Saara Turunen is sold to Wahlström & Widstrand in Sweden! This is the first foreign sales for Saara’s novels, and we are confident that there will be many more.

The Swedish publisher was immediately excited when they heard about the book, and they think it will be a perfect fit for their literary list.

”Saara Turunen has written a sharp contemporary reflection on the artistry and the identity, the role of the self in making art, on loneliness and belonging, but also feminism. She has an ability to capture the little moments and yet manages to make something bigger out of it. It is quiet but still outstanding!”
– Maria Såthe, Literary director, Wahlström & Widstrand

The Bystander:
When the narrator of the novel receives the hot-off-the-press copies of her debut novel, she feels like everything has changed. Strangely enough, no one else seems to notice this. All the while the narrator ponders the meaning of it all. Is a life outside the norms of society the price you pay of making art – and more importantly, can it be a happy life?

The Bystander is an important contemporary portrait of how difficult it still is for a young woman to choose otherwise, to take control of one’s own life. At the same time ironic and earnest, it burrows into the issues of making art.

About the author:

Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning author, playwright and director. She is known for her bold and direct style and much of her work examines the themes of art, identity and social norms

» City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award 2018
» Finland Prize Winner 2016
» Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize Winner 2015

» Internationally renowned contemporary Finnish playwright with works translated into 14 languages

Click here to request reading materials for The Bystander.

Rights sold:

FINLAND, Tammi (orig.)
SWEDEN, Wahlström & Widstrand

Saara Turunen

Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed award-winning author, playwright and director. She is known for her bold and direct style and much of her work examines the themes of identity and social norms. Her forthcoming novel Irrational Things (Spring 2021) is a story of love, death and life between two countries.

Turunen has previously authored two highly acclaimed novels, Love/Monster 2015 and The Bystander 2018. Her debut novel Love/Monster won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015. In addition to her work as a novelist, Turunen is also known for her plays. They have been translated into 13 languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was granted with the Finland Prize in 2016, a high profile award given by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and with the City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award in 2018.


Saara Turunen


2015, Literary

Saara Turunen

The Bystander

2018, Literary

Saara Turunen

Irrational Things

2021, Literary

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