We are thrilled to announce that the Dutch rights to Mia Kankimäki’s THINGS THAT MAKE ONE’S HEART BEAT FASTER have now been acquired by Orlando Uitgeverij! The deal was closed by Elina Ahlbäck at Elina Ahlback Literary Agency.

Orlando praised the book for being a captivating and inspiring read:

“I am thrilled that we now also will publish THINGS THAT MAKE ONE’S HEART BEAT FASTER after the success of THE WOMEN I THINK ABOUT AT NIGHT. Mia is a wonderful writer, and the story of her travel to Japan in the footsteps of Sei Shonagon, her soulmate who lived over 1000 years ago, is mesmerising! I couldn’t put it down and my only problem is that I now want to go to Japan myself as soon as possible.”
– Jacqueline Smit, Owner/Publisher, Uitgeverij Orlando, The Netherlands

This bestselling book has recently been published in Germany and Japan to glowing reviews:

In the life-changing experience of reading and writing there is no room of one’s own, only a truth of one’s own. When this truth reaches the reader, they will be moved. Kankimäki’s book is doubtless a beautiful account of one’s own truth.
– Natsuko Seto in Shukan bunshun, Japan

The expansive book cleverly portrays the modernity of Sei Shonagon as a provocateur, a “pre-columnist” and an “original blogger”. The enlightening meanderings describe the reception and the artistic and feminist legacy of this world literature classic also as a history of abridgments, slander, and misunderstandings.
– Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

Download the English sample and synopsis for the book here!

by Mia Kankimäki
Otava, 2013, 380 pp.

Mia Kankimäki quits her job and embarks on an adventure. She travels to Kyoto to research Sei Shonagon, a Japanese writer and lady-in-waiting who wrote about her life in the court of Heian era Japan. Mia doesn’t speak a word of Japanese, and isn’t quite accustomed to scientific research, but her endeavor produces the most wonderful book about Japan, Sei Shonagon, and a middle-aged woman’s solo travels.

Despite her struggles and initial culture shock, Mia finds herself mesmerized by temples, cherry blossoms, kabuki theater, Zen meditation and tearooms. She reads the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and finds a soul sister – a modern woman who loves making lists of all things charming, annoying, elegant and things that make one’s heart beat faster.

Otava, 2013, 380 pp.

Reading materials:
English sample and synopsis
German edition

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
JAPAN: Soshisha
GERMANY: btb Verlag/Random House

About author

Mia Kankimäki

Mia Kankimäki is the author of two best-selling books which blend travelogue, memoir, biography, and women’s history. After taking a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Helsinki and working diligently in Finnish publishing, in 2010 she left her job and traveled to Japan to write her first book. Her books have received several literary awards, for example the Best Travel Book of the Year 2013, the HelMet Award 2015, and Otava Book Foundation’s Non-Fiction Award 2020. She currently lives in Helsinki, Finland, whenever she’s not traveling for her next book project.

Mia has been enthusiastic about Japanese culture for years and is a qualified ikebana teacher of the Sogetsu school. Her first book Things That Make One’s Hear Beat Faster took her to Kyoto where she has spent long periods of writing and making research ever since. Kankimäki’s second book The Women I Think About at Night has sold over 55,000 copies in Finland and the translation rights have been sold to 21 territories, including USA and China.

Mia's both books have been aqcuired by Japanese publisher Soshisha:

"I am delighted to share that Mia Kankimäki’s debut title, THINGS THAT MAKE ONE’S HEART BEAT FASTER, is embraced and loved by many Japanese readers. A cross between an autobiography and a travelogue, the author finds an emotional connection with a woman geographically far apart and from a different era and tries to discover who she really was. I believe this style is reflected in THE WOMEN I THINK ABOUT AT NIGHT as well. Though some of the female figures in this second book might not be well-known locally, I am looking forward to seeing how our readers will react to their lifestyles." - Daisuke Watanabe, Editor, Soshisha


2018, General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

The Women I Think About At Night

Mia Kankimäki

2013, General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

Things That Make One's Heart Beat Faster

Mia Kankimäki