The Women I Think About At Night

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)


CHINA: Beijing Huaxia Winshare Books Co., Ltd.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Albatros Media / Motto

DENMARK: Bilgrav

ESTONIA: Varrak Publishers

FRANCE: Editions Leduc


ITALY: Neri Pozza Editore

LATVIA: Zvaigzne ABC Publishers

LITHUANIA: Leidykla Gelmes


NORWAY: Gursli Berg Forlag



SWEDEN: Wahlström & Widstrand

USA: Simon & Schuster

Original title: Naiset joita ajattelen öisin

Author: Mia Kankimäki

Published: 2018

Publisher: Otava

Genres: General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

Pages: 448

Reading material

English edition

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What can a 40-something, childless woman do with her life? Hop on a plane and follow the footsteps of historical female figures: fearless explorers, gifted writers and passionate artists.

Mia Kankimäki leaves her job, sells her apartment and travels to Africa to see where Karen Blixen – the Danish author, baroness and coffee farmer – lived in the 1920s. She goes to Japan in search of a cure for her depression, and to research Yayoi Kusama, the world-renowned artist, and around the world in the footsteps of 19th century women explorers. In Italy, she spends days looking for forgotten Renaissance women painters of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. If these women could make it in the world hundreds of years ago, why couldn’t she?

The Women I Think About At Night is part travelogue and part biography: in clear prose Kankimäki writes about the lost women adventurers of history – perfect reading for adult fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, and anyone who’s ever wanted to travel to all the places they’ve ever read about.


“The stories are complicated and inspiring, and Kankimäki’s experience unwinding each one to help understand her own life reminds us of the power of using travel for self-discovery.” —Travel + Leisure

“[A]stute, entertaining….This insightful book will appeal to adventure enthusiasts and be an inspiration for those with an eye on hitting their stride later in life.” —Publishers Weekly

“[E]nlightening…[A] patchwork study of the many hurdles women artists faced—and still face.” —Kirkus Reviews

 “Complicated and engaging … Through each chapter, you’ll learn about women who went against the grain and set out on personal adventures to unapologetically live their lives with passion and fervor. You’ll read about a woman who ran a coffee plantation in Kenya; a travel writer who suffered from depression until she took the advice of a doctor to explore the high seas; a Buddhist nun who became the first white woman to enter Lhasa, a forbidden city in the mid 1920’s; an inventor who traveled around the world with just a handbag; and many more.” —Forbes

"A fantastic book that every woman can enjoy. The book is a confidence-booster for all women seeking to build a life based on finding a path out of the beaten track, to find inspiration from “night women” who overcame all odds to make brave choices and seek better lives for themselves. These travels were as much travels of the soul than of the physical world." —Beauty News NYC


Foreign covers

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 45,000 copies in Finland and the translation rights have been sold to 17 territories, including USA and China.


Mia Kankimäki

The Women I Think About At Night

2018, General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

Mia Kankimäki

Things That Make One's Heart Beat Faster

2013, General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

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