HarperCollins buys World English rights to Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of Water, and to her next novel, in a 2-book-deal

We are so thrilled to announce that HarperCollins has acquired the World English rights to Emmi Itäranta’s debut novel Memory of Water, and to her second, yet untitled novel, for publication on their HarperCollins/Voyager list in spring 2014.

“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. Her work is a fabulous addition to the literary side of our list which includes Aldiss, Ballard and Bradbury, with the potential to reach across genres and become as classic.”, says Emma Coode, Deputy Publishing Director for HarperVoyager.

Furthermore, Emmi has received the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize for young authors, worth 16.000 euros, for her debut novel in Helsinki yesterday.

Jury’s motivations:

Emmi Itäranta’s (b. 1976) debut novel Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja, Teos 2012) tells the story of young Noria, set to become the next tea master in her village. Following a great natural disaster, the world is under strict military rule and rapidly running out of water. Hiding water has become a punishable crime. Trained by her father, Noria carries on the duties of the tea master responsible for the traditional tea ceremony. Along with the task goes the responsibility of guarding a secret fresh water spring – a secret that is bound to result in trouble with friends and authorities alike. The novel develops into a mysterious allegory of the dilemmas of truth, freedom and loyalty. Emmi Itäranta’s dystopia is a skilful combination of science fiction and age-old utopian tradition that reflects the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time.

Rights to Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of Water have also been sold in Germany to DTV/Reihe Hanser and in Czech Republic to Plus.

Please ask for the full English text and other reading materials from the Agency!

Rights enquiries:
Elina Ahlback Literary Agency Oy Ltd.
Elina Ahlbäck, Literary Agent, CEO, email: elina.ahlback(at)ahlbackagency.com, tel. +358 400 548 402
Päivi Ruottinen, Associate Agent, email: paivi.ruottinen(at)ahlbackagency.com


About author

Emmi Itäranta

Emmi Itäranta (b.1976) holds two MA degrees, one in Drama and another in Creative Writing. Her award-winning debut novel Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja) was published in Finland in 2012 to great accolades, followed by The Weaver (Kudottujen kujien kaupunki) in 2015. Her latest novel The Moonday Letters (Kuunpäivän kirjeet) was published in September 2020.

Itäranta’s writing has been compared to that of Ursula K. Le Guin. Her honours include the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize 2013, the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize 2012 and first place in the Teos Fantasy and Sci-Fi Literary Contest 2011.

Memory of Water has sold to over 25 languages to date, and it has also been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award recognizing the best science fiction novel published in the UK in 2014, and the Golden Tentacle award. In addition, Itäranta has been included on the Honor List of the Otherwise Award (formerly James Tiptree, Jr. Award).

Itäranta’s 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 now lives in Finland after 14 years in the United Kingdom.


2020, Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Moonday Letters

Emmi Itäranta

2015, Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Weaver

Emmi Itäranta

2012, Fantasy & Science Fiction

Memory of Water

Emmi Itäranta