Emmi Itäranta’s brilliant third novel THE MOONDAY LETTERS published today

Emmi Itäranta is one of the most internationally successful contemporary Finnish authors. Her first novel MEMORY OF WATER is published in 23 territories, and filming of the movie has begun this fall.

The Moonday Letters by award-winning author Emmi Itäranta, focuses on big themes. It is dedicated to all those who have lost their homes. Itäranta worked on The Moonday Letters for three and a half years while the world went through increasing turmoil. The climate crisis grew more urgent, authoritarianism and populism gained more ground in world politics. The novel did not strive to directly reflect these issues, but they could not help but filter into the fictional reality of the book.
Emmi Itäranta tells about the writing process:

“Years ago my editor cleverly planted the idea in my mind that there were not many space operas by Finnish authors, and that it might be interesting to see some. The thought began to take root. In January 2017 the first image of the story emerged in my imagination: a woman is sitting in a coffee shop on the Moon, watching Earth from there and thinking that she can never return to her home planet. The image spoke to me not only of a future world, but also of loss and longing for home. The book grew around these themes.”   “And on top of it all I completed the book in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“As I was putting the finishing touches on the book, the parallels with the current reality took even me by surprise.” Itäranta, who lives in the United Kingdom and is currently visiting Finland, says The Moonday Letters portrays first and foremost the grief of losing Earth, the only home of the human species, as it was.

“I believe we are already living in the middle of this grief in relation to the loss of biodiversity and the climate crisis that we see all around us. I also believe it is possible and meaningful to process these feelings of loss through fiction.”


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