Introducing the Finlandia Prize winner 2021 Anne-Maija Aalto with the YA novel WHERE THE LIGHT COMES IN

We are incredibly proud to announce that the Finlandia Prize winner for Children’s & Young Adult Literature this year, Anne-Maija Aalto with the YA novel WHERE THE LIGHT COMES IN is now represented by Elina Ahlbäck Literary Agency.

Join us in welcoming and congratulating Anne-Maija Aalto!

Finlandia Prize winner Anne-Maija Aalto’s WHERE THE LIGHT COMES IN is the dystopian love story of two very different characters with different values set in a water-covered former Japan.
Download the Finnish pdf for WHERE THE LIGHT COMES IN from this link.

The English sample and synopsis are available in early January 2022. If you need a Finnish reader or translator, find them here.

Finlandia Prize Jury’s motivations:

The narration is effortless, the world distant yet timely. The great questions of humanity are present. The story elegantly invites young people to see how their relationships with their parents can change when they get to know them better.

  • Perttu Pölönen, Futurist, Non-Fiction Author


Finlandia Prize winner: WHERE THE LIGHT COMES IN
by Anne-Maija Aalto
What is a person if you take away their memory? Who determines what we believe? A captivating story of rebellion, hope and humanity.

Alexei is a young man whose father runs a human research institute in Tokyo, which is now partly covered by the sea. New cargoes of test subjects regularly arrive at the facility, one containing Satomi, a young woman whose memory is set to be erased. Satomi becomes Alexei’s trial case, since he is meant to continue his father’s work. But something is already churning beneath the surface, and the younger generation can see the horrors of the system their parents have created.

WHERE THE LIGHT COMES IN won the Finlandia Prize and was also selected as the audience favorite among the Finlandia Prize for Children’s & Young Adult Literature nominees at the Cultural Gala held in December 2021..

The Finlandia Prize for Children’s & Young Adult Literature is a recognition presented by the Finnish Book Foundation for meritorious Finnish children’s and young adult writing. The amount of the award is 30,000 euros. The Finlandia Prizes were presented on December 1, 2021.

Anne-Maija Aalto (b. 1988) holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Turku. She enjoys good stories and traveling to foreign cities. Her acclaimed debut novel Into Deep Water was published in 2016. Her second novel, Dragonfly, appeared in 2020 and was nominated for the Topelius Prize. Her 2021 Where the Light Comes In is the 2021 Finlandia Prize winner.


*   Into Deep Water, 2016
*   Dragonfly, 2020 – Topelius Prize nominee 2020
*   Where the Light Comes In, 2021  – Finlandia Prize winner 2021

by Anne-Maija Aalto

Mistä valo pääsee sisään
Otava, September 2021, 320pp


FINLAND: Otava (orig.)


Finnish manuscript.
English sample and Synopsis coming early January 2022

About author

Anne-Maija Aalto

Anne-Maija Aalto is an award-winning Finnish author of both YA and adult fiction. Her YA novel Where the Light Comes In won the prestigious Finlandia Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2021 and has received praise for its effortless narration, beautiful prose and compellingly current story.

Where the Light Comes In is a standalone sequel for Dragonfly which was nominated for the Topelius Prize in 2020. The prize is awarded yearly to an expectional novel for young people, and the jury described Dragonfly as “a deeply touching and beautifully written story of friendship, loss and social inequality.” Her other works include YA novel Into Deep Water and novel The Silence of Snow. Her books often dwelve into the darker sides of humanity, exploring the themes of loss, loneliness, identity and coming of age.

Anne-Maija holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of Turku where she also studied English and creative writing. She lives in Turku with her husband and an extensive collection of half-filled notebooks. When she isn’t writing, she can most likely be found walking in nature with her camera or lounging on the couch with a good book.


2021, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Where the Light Comes In

Anne-Maija Aalto

2020, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Anne-Maija Aalto