Riikka Sandberg

Original title: Ørja

Author: Riikka Sandberg

Published: 2023

Publisher: Otava

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 395

Reading material:

English sample and synopsis

A fateful novel about friendship, passion and secrets buried in the sea from the end of the occupation of Norway till the 1970s.

1952. A gigantesque mail carrier lives on the island of Ørja with her boat-building father. His last boat is left unfinished, and the daughter takes on the task. The boat is sold to an island-dweller who is the subject of many chilling rumors.

1976. Tine arrives in Ørja to put up a traveling cinema. But what is even more interesting than the projector, is the wire recorder she finds in the shed. It talks of a tragic past that the island community has kept silent about.

A rebel. A spouse. A savior. A friend. A lover. How many lives can one person live? What happens when they collide?

”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

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

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