We are thrilled to announce that Piper has acquired German rights, at auction, to Jussi Valtonen’s 2014 Finlandia Prize winner, They Know Not What They Do (Tammi 2014). Piper, whose list includes works by authors such as J.D Salinger, Joël Dicker and Arne Dahl, will publish the novel in 2016.
“They Know Not What They Do is an extraordinary book, both in style and in the socially relevant topics it addresses: Jussi Valtonen is a wonderful writer who asks crucial questions about our time and the technological progress, scrutinizing if it really should be one of the highest goods of our society. Mainly, though, he portrays a family with all possible empathy, and portrays people living and working, loving and failing. I’m astonished by the way in which these two parts come together in this fascinating, heartbreaking and true novel.”
– Anvar Cukoski, Editor, Piper Verlag
Rights to the book, which was 2014’s highest-selling Finnish novel, were previously sold in the World English territories to Oneworld Publications, in France to Fayard and in the Netherlands to Signatuur/A.W. Bruna.
Praise from publishers:
“Discovering a strong new voice in literary fiction always feels great. This is how we felt at Fayard about Jussi Valtonen, whose work is ambitious, moving and very fresh in the way it regards some of the major issues of our societies. We are looking forward, with great excitement, to publishing him in France!”
– Sophie de Closets, Président Directeur Général, Fayard
“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
GERMANY, Piper Verlag
NETHERLANDS, Signatuur/A.W. Bruna
WORLD ENGLISH, Oneworld Publications