We are thrilled to announce the first international deal for Jussi Valtonen’s Finlandia Prize winner, They Know Not What They Do (Tammi 2014): Signatuur, the literary imprint of A.W. Bruna Publishers has acquired Dutch rights in pre-empt. Signatuur focuses on world literature and publishes authors including Adam Johnson, David Benioff, Jonas Jonasson, Stieg Larsson, Hilary Mantel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Chan Koon Chung.
“Jussi Valtonen is one of those authors who can revoke a change in your thoughts, ideas and prejudices, while entertaining you at the same time. The thin line between what we think is our reality, and what it could become, is fascinating. His psychological portraits and observations on science and society are spot on.”
– Juliette van Wersch, Publisher, Signatuur/A.W. Bruna
Valtonen’s work, which evokes Jonathan Franzen and Brave New World by way of David Mitchell, has sold about 100,000 copies in Finland since its publication in September of 2014.
“They Know Not What They Do is a mind-blowing work. It illuminates modern life with a rare sense of perception, without pointing fingers or moralizing…the book opens new doors into Finnish literature, both in terms of content and in terms of style.”
– Professor Anne Brunila in the Finlandia Prize announcement
About They Know Not What They Do:
When professor Joe Chayefski’s neuroscience lab in Baltimore is attacked by animal rights activists, he doesn’t connect the dots at first. But when he receives a phone call from Alina, his Finnish ex-wife, he begins to gradually realize that the threats on his career and new family are connected to Samuel, the son he left behind in Finland two decades ago. Joe soon learns that his son’s life has gone badly astray, and that Samuel has devoted himself to extreme animal rights activism. Joe realizes that he has to take action to protect his wife and two daughters from his estranged son, by any means necessary.
They Know Not What They Do offers readers piercing psychological insight and a dystopian satire of a world in which nothing is private and everything is for sale.
Jussi Valtonen (b. 1974) is an author and psychologist from Helsinki. He has studied neuropsychology in the United States and screenwriting in the UK. His previous works include two novels and a short story collection. His novel, Carried by Wings (Siipien kantamat, Tammi 2007) was given second place in Bonnier’s novel competition, and received a warm reception from both critics and bloggers.
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
NETHERLANDS, Signatuur/A.W. Bruna