Fayard acquires French rights to Jussi Valtonen’s They Know Not What They Do

Valtonen_newsletter_Nov272014We are excited to announce that Fayard, one of France’s oldest and most esteemed publishers, has acquired rights in pre-empt to Jussi Valtonen’s Finlandia Prize winner, They Know Not What They Do (Tammi 2014). Among other authors published by Fayard, which is part of the Hachette group, are Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Mann, Ismail Kadare, Patrick Suskind, and Allan Hollinghurst.

Valtonen’s work, which evokes Jonathan Franzen and Brave New World by way of David Mitchell, was 2014’s highest-selling Finnish novel and received glowing reviews from critics. World English rights were recently sold in auction to Oneworld, while Dutch rights were sold to Signatuur/A.W. Bruna.

Praise from international publishers:

“It is so exciting to come across a novelist who seeks to engage deeply with the questions of our time, and in They Know Not What They Do Jussi Valtonen has achieved that rare thing – an intelligent, compellingly readable, and above all thought-provoking novel. This is definitely a book you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve finished reading it.”
– Juliet Mabey, Publisher, Oneworld

“Jussi Valtonen is one of those authors who can evoke 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

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. It is also 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 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 awarded second place in Bonnier’s novel competition, and received a warm reception from both critics and bloggers.

Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
FRANCE, Fayard
NETHERLANDS, Signatuur/A.W. Bruna
WORLD ENGLISH, Oneworld Publications

Reading materials:
English sample
English synopsis
Finnish edition

Contact: info@ahlbackagency.com