Memory of Water

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Teos (orig.)

ARABIC: Dar al Muna

BRAZIL: Editora Record Ltda

BULGARIA: Perseus Publishing House

CHINA: Sichuan People's Publishing House Co., Ltd.


CZECH REPUBLIC: Albatros Media a.s./ Plus Publishers

ESTONIA: Koolibri Publishers

FRANCE: Presses de la Cite

GEORGIA: Palitra L Publishing

GERMANY: Reihe Hanser

HUNGARY: Metropolis Media Group Kft.

ITALY: Edizioni Piemme S.p.a

ITALY: Sperling & Kupfer

LATVIA: Jana Rozes Apgads

NORWAY: Gresvik Forlag AS


SPAIN: Ediciones B

SWEDEN: Modernista

WORLD ENGLISH: HarperVoyager

Original title: Teemestarin kirja

Author: Emmi Itäranta

Published: 2012

Publisher: Teos

Genre: Fantasy & Science Fiction

Pages: 266

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Memory of Water is a story of growing up, of the power of friendship – and, above all, of undying hope in a wrecked world.

Emmi Itäranta‘s debut novel Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja) won the Teos Fantasy and Sci-fi Literary Contest in 2011 and earned her the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize for young authors, worth 16.000 euros, in December 2012. She also received the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize in 2013.

The story is set in a drought-ravaged, war-ridden future world where fresh water has become the privilege of a few and tea masters have been keepers of natural springs for centuries, Memory of Water tells the story of seventeen-year-old Noria, set to become the next tea master in her village. When her father dies, she finds herself alone with the dangerous responsibility of guarding a hidden spring that can save lives – or provoke people to kill.

As war spreads into her homeland, Noria’s loyalties are torn between keeping her duty and helping her dearest friend Sanja, whose family can barely survive on their water rations. Together the girls unearth knowledge about the past that has remained buried too long and begin to plan a journey to the Lost Lands, forbidden areas that might hold unexplored water resources.

Yet the web of the military is closing in on Noria’s secret. Sanja disappears mysteriously, and Noria is placed under house arrest. Knowing her own life is in danger, Noria must face a choice in order to secure the hidden information for others.


„Memory of Water“ is an original novel set in a dystopian world where there is not enough water, raising issues about growing up in the world changed by climate crisis. Although published in 2012, the novel could not be more topical today, and we hope its publication could really help raise awareness about the climate emergency in Croatia, especially among young adults. At the same time, in her beautiful prose, with the story holding reader’s attention, Emmi Itäranta reminds us about the importance of simple things in life, those we so often take for granted. Itäranta’s prose is elegant and poetic with sentences that will resonate with us for a long time: Water doesn’t belong to us, but we belong to water: when it has passed through our fingers and pores and bodies, nothing separates us from earth.

Sandra Ukalović, Editor, VBZ, Croatia


Foreign covers

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 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 was sold to 21 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 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.


Emmi Itäranta

Moonday Letters

2020, Fantasy & Science Fiction

Emmi Itäranta

The Weaver

2015, Fantasy & Science Fiction

Emmi Itäranta

Memory of Water

2012, Fantasy & Science Fiction

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