Vietnamese rights sold to “They Know Not What They Do” by Jussi Valtonen

ValtonenNewsletterJune2015 We are thrilled to announce that Chibooks has acquired Vietnamese rights to Jussi Valtonen’s Finlandia Prize-winning novel They Know Not What They Do (Tammi 2014). Chibooks focuses on new, modern, well-known literature from famous writers all around the world.

“Jussi Valtonen is the first Finnish author we are going to work with, and we’re very honored to publish his brilliant novel in Vietnam. I believe Vietnamese readers will enjoy this book because they can see themselves in the people living, working, loving and failing in this book. ”
Nguyen Le Chi, Publisher, Chibooks, Vietnam.

Set in the U.S. and Finland, They Know Not What They Do explores family loyalties, scientific ethics and the search for identity in a fragmented and technology-ruled society. It has been Finland’s most talked-about novel since its publication in 2014, and has sold 100,000 copies. Rights are sold in 9 territories!

Praise from international publishers:

“Jussi Valtonen’s work is ambitious, moving and fresh in the way it regards some of the major issues of our societies.”
– Sophie de Closets, Président Directeur Général, Fayard, France

“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.”
– Anvar Cukoski, Editor, Piper Verlag, Germany

“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.”
– Juliet Mabey, Publisher, Oneworld, UK

“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, Netherlands

“This book is fresh and contemporary…it does not contain a single unnecessary word.”
– Ingrida Dubauskienė, editor, Alma Littera, Lithuania

“Jussi Valtonen is the first Finnish author we are going to work with, and we’re very happy to publish his brilliant novel in Hungarian. We are convinced that Valtonen’s fiction will enchant readers on the Ugrian side of our Finno-Ugric language family.”
– András Vörös, Editor, Cser Publishing, Hungary

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 realize that the threats on his career and new family are connected to Samuel, the son he left behind in Finland two decades ago.

Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
FRANCE, Fayard
GERMANY, Piper Verlag
LITHUANIA, Alma Littera
NETHERLANDS, Signatuur/A.W. Bruna
POLAND, Foksal
VIETNAM, Chibooks
WORLD ENGLISH, Oneworld Publications

Reading materials:
English sample
English synopsis
Finnish edition


About author

Jussi Valtonen

Jussi Valtonen (1974) is an author and psychologist from Helsinki. He has studied neuropsychology in the United States and screenwriting in the UK, and has also worked as a science reporter. He has written three novels and a short story collection.

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. In 2014 Valtonen was awarded the Finlandia Prize, the country’s highest-profile literary award, for They Know Not What They Do (He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät, Tammi 2014).


2014, Literary Fiction

They Know Not What They Do

Jussi Valtonen