Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Reading material

Finnish edition
English sample & synopsis

Original title: Asioita jotka saavat sydämen lyömään nopeammin

Published: 2013

Publisher: Otava

Class/genre: Non-Fiction

Pages: 380

Prizes:

Best Travel Book of 2013 (Mondo travel magazine)

A narrative non-fiction about a Finnish writer’s trip to Japan to look for her soul mate – who lived over 1000 years ago.

Mia Kankimäki quits her job and embarks on an adventure. She travels to Kyoto to research Sei Shonagon, a Japanese writer and a lady-in-waiting who wrote about her life in the court of Heian era Japan. Mia doesn’t speak a word of Japanese, and isn’t quite accustomed to scientific research, but her endeavor produced the most wonderful book about Japan, Sei Shonagon, and a middle aged woman’s solo travels.

Despite her struggles and initial culture shock, Mia finds herself mesmerized by temples, cherry blossoms, kabuki-theater, Zen meditation, and tea rooms. She reads the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and finds a soul sister: a modern woman who loves making lists of all things charming, annoying, elegant, or things that make one’s heart beat faster.


Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.
ESTONIA: Varrak
ITALY: Edizioni Piemme
JAPAN: Soshisha
GERMANY: btb Verlag/Random House

“The most delightful thing about reading is to unexpectedly find new and valuable things. Mia Kankimäki’s work is like that.” –Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Mia Kankimäki


Mia Kankimäki is the author of two best-selling books which blend travelogue, memoir, biography and women’s history. After taking a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Helsinki and working diligently in Finnish publishing, in 2010 she left her job and traveled to Japan to write her first book. Her books have received several literary awards, for example the Best Travel Book of the year 2013, the HelMet Award 2015, and Otava Book Foundation’s Non Fiction Award 2020. She currently lives in Helsinki, Finland, whenever she’s not traveling for her next book project.

Mia has been enthusiastic about Japanese culture for years, and is a qualified ikebana teacher of the Sogetsu school. Her first book Things That Make One’s Hear Beat Faster took her to Kyoto where she has spent long periods of writing and making research ever since. Kankimäki’s second book The Women I Think About at Night has sold over 36,000 copies in Finland and the translation rights have been sold to 15 territories, including USA and China.

 

Author photo by Otava Publishing

Bibliography


Mia Kankimäki

The Women I Think About At Night

2018, Non-Fiction

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