Swedish rights for Riikka Sandberg’s debut Ørja pre-empted by Norstedts!

We are thrilled to share that one of Sweden’s largest and oldest publishers, Norstedts, have acquired the Swedish rights to Riikka Sandberg’s critically acclaimed debut novel Ørja in a pre-empt. The deal was closed by Anna Kappauf at Elina Ahlback Literary Agency.

Norstedts is celebrating its 200-year anniversary this year, looking back on many successes such as publishing 30 Nobel Literature Laureates and other bestselling authors including Stieg Larsson, J.R.R Tolkien, Elena Ferrante, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, Dolly Alderton, Marian Keyes, Fríða Ísberg, Kate Atkinson, Leila Mottley, and Jenny Colgan.

Ørja was published in Finland in January 2023 by Otava to great media praise:

In her debut novel, Riikka Sandberg (b. 1989) has crafted a miniature world with a tight atmosphere. [–] The net of the relationships is woven to a tighter shape page by page. [–] Sandberg’s debut is a detailed and carefully finished piece of work in which no clue is unimportant and evert scene builds on the lifelike miniature world of the novel. Ørja is a gripping debut.
-Outi Hytönen in Suomen Kuvalehti magazine

The novel is filled with fantastic nature descriptions. The author has written it with such detail, that the reader can sense the rippling of waves on the pier and the stormy swelling of the sea against the harsh rocks. [–] The colourful nature descriptions accompany the bleak human destinies which the reader follows with excitement until the end.
-Jari Olavi Hiltunen in Satakunnan kansa newspaper

Riikka Sandberg paints in her debut a lavish and exciting plot around the lives of the people living on a barren island. [–] For a debut, Ørja is surprisingly mature. Even when reaching to many differing directions, Riikka Sandberg manages to keep hold of everything.
-Marjatta Hietaniemi in Ilkka-Pohjalainen newspaper

Riikka Sandberg’s debut is perfect for fans of The Sixteen Trees of the Somme (Svøm med dem som drukner) by Lars Mytting, A Land of Snow and Ashes by Petra Rautiainen, My Brother (Jag for ner till bror) by Karin Smirnoff, and Black Water (Händelser vid vatten) by Kerstin Ekman.

Be the next to snap up the rights to this powerful upmarket novel!

Download the materials for Ørja here!


Otava, January 2023, 395 pp.

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
SWEDEN: Norstedts

Reading materials:
English sample and synopsis

About author

Riikka Sandberg

Riikka Sandberg (b. 1989) is a Finnish author who grew up in the midst of boatsheds and the sea breeze. She studied Finnish and creative writing at the University of Turku and currently teaches at the University of Helsinki. Sandberg’s debut book Ørja was published in February 2023 and has been described as a thoughtfully constructed novel in which the fjords and the churning sea set a grand stage.

Sandberg is inspired by the Nordic languages, history and nature, and the fictional isles in her debut novel Ørja were inspired by a small and rugged Norwegian island to where she retreated alone to write. Eventually she carried out research for her novel in Norway, the Faroe Islands and the Finnish Lapland and archipelago. Sandberg considers it important to write about women who are, for one reason or another, cast out or have themselves left the society or their community, and about those who have forgotten to live their own truth.


2023, Literary Fiction


Riikka Sandberg