Kimmo Rentola’s HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN (Yale UP) Book Launch in London! Now published in English!

In London, on Thursday, November 2nd, we celebrated the UK launch of Professor Kimmo Rentola’s book HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN: From Winter War to Cold War, 1939-1950, beautifully published by Yale University Press in the UK and US. Originally published in Finland by Otava in 2016, the English language edition is available on November 14th throughout the world. Rights have been previously sold to Rebis in Poland, to Papadopoulos Publishers in Greece, and Äripäev in Estonia.

Media, historians, and other professionals were gathered at the Finnish Ambassador’s Residence at Kensington Palace Gardens to learn more about Finland’s history, from Winter War to Cold War. Yale University Press edition is an updated edition, translated by Richard Robinson, and a dramatic and timely account of Stalin’s failed invasion of Finland in 1939 and the decade of wars and fraught relations that followed, written by Kimmo Rentola, PhD, historian and professor emeritus of political history. Publisher Julian Loose at Yale UP said:

“I am thrilled to publish Kimmo Rentola’s important work on Finland and Stalin. As the leading scholar on Soviet-Finnish relations, his intimate understanding of the intelligence history during this crucial period makes for a uniquely fascinating and revelatory read. And of course this story has huge resonance at the present time, with Finland joining NATO and the parallels between the Winter War and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” 
 Julian Loose, Editorial Director Trade & Academic, Yale University Press London

Warmest thanks to Ambassador Jukka Siukosaari and his excellent team for hosting the book launch event in collaboration with Yale University Press and Elina Ahlback Literary Agency. We also thank FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange for kindly supporting the event. Congratulations, Kimmo Rentola and Yale University Press!

We are delighted to share praise and endorsements for Kimmo Rentola’s HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN:

This is a pioneering work on Soviet-Finnish relations in the critical period between the Winter War and the death of Stalin. Using archives around the world, Rentola explores in stunning detail the complex story of Finnish survival.
 Norman M. Naimark, author of Stalin and the Fate of Europe

There is no other book like this one. Rentola treats Stalin as a serious strategist and demonstrates how pragmatic, flexible and ruthless he could be.”
– Ronald Grigor Suny, author of Stalin: Passage to Revolution

No one is better equipped than Kimmo Rentola to tell the extraordinary story of Finland’s relations with Stalin and the Soviets. His penetrating insight, flawless judgement and matchless command of Finnish and Russian sources have produced a masterpiece.”
– Geoffrey Roberts, author of Stalin’s Library

A masterfully-written and elegant work. Rentola’s precise and compact narration deepens and widens the understanding of Finland’s fateful years.
– Lauri Jäntti Prize Jury

Download the materials for HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN here!

HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN Yale UP editions at the Finnish Ambassador’s Residence.
© Elina Ahlbäck / Ahlback Agency

Kimmo Rentola presenting HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN.
© Elina Ahlbäck / Ahlback Agency

Elina Ahlbäck and Julian Loose with the Yale University Press team.
© Embassy of Finland in London

How Finland Survived Stalin: From Winter War to Cold War, 1939-1950

Kimmo Rentola

A meticulously researched insight into critical points in the history of relations between Finland and the Soviet Union

A dramatic and timely account of Stalin’s failed invasion of Finland in 1939, and the decade of wars and fraught relations that followed.

Professor Kimmo Rentola explores Stalin’s invasion of Finland in the Winter War, and the decade of fraught Soviet-Finnish relations that followed, including Finland’s exit from World War Two and a possible coup in 1948. This is a dramatic reconstruction of the Nordic republic’s unlikely survival, at a time when its very existence was at stake.

How did Finland evade Joseph Stalin’s crosshairs three times? Did Stalin have a special relationship with Finland and the Finns? Why didn’t he continue the Soviet onslaught on Finland during the Winter War in 1940? Why did the dictator back down from his aspirations and demands towards Finland during the peace negotiations in 1944? Why did 1948 remain the year of an unfulfilled coup in Finland? The answer lies in the relations between Finland and Russia which remain highly timely to this day.

Joseph Stalin has been one of the individuals with the most influence on the history of independent Finland. There are few who have made so many far-reaching decisions as Stalin: he decreed the beginning and the end of the Winter War, the Moscow Armistice of 1944 that ended the Continuation War was signed with his authorization, and when, in 1948, it was time to decide whether Finland would become a ‘people’s republic’ or not, he initially pushed forward but eventually backed down. All of these decisions can be seen as pivotal to the fate of Finland, its society, its independence, the life and death of the Finnish people.

Otava, 2016, 240 pp.

English edition

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
ESTONIA: Äripäev
GREECE: Papadopoulos Publishing
WORLD ENGLISH: Yale University Press

About author

Kimmo Rentola

Kimmo Rentola (b. 1953), PhD, is a historian and professor emeritus of political history, at the University of Turku from 2006 to 2014 and at the University of Helsinki since 2014. In his research, Rentola has specialized in the history of the Cold War, the relationships between Finland and the Soviet Union, and both Finnish and Nordic communism. His other research areas are the youth movements of the 1960s and the history of intelligence agencies.

His latest title, How Finland Survived Stalin, won the Lauri Jäntti Award for non-fiction literature in 2017, while his previous book Vallankumouksen aave (‘The Ghost of the Revolution’) won the Scholarly Book of the Year Award in Finland in 2007.


Aino + Alvar Aalto Book Launch in New York

In New York, on Thursday the 28th September, we celebrated the launch of Heikki Aalto-Alanen’s book Aino + Alvar Aalto – A Life Together, beautifully published by Phaidon! Originally published in Finland by Otava in 2021, the English language edition is now available throughout the world.

Art, architecture and design professionals as well as Aalto enthusiasts were gathered at the Finnish Consul General’s residence to learn more about the iconic architects Aino and Alvar Aalto and their influential partnership. Phaidon’s edition is a captivating visual biography, written by the Aaltos’ grandson Heikki Aalto-Alanen, translated by David Hackston, and including a rich collection of archival materials and offering an intimate look at Aino and Alvar Aalto’s lives, work, and enduring legacy. A true love story!

Warmest thanks to Consul General Jarmo Sareva and his excellent team for hosting the book launch event in collaboration with Phaidon and Elina Ahlback Literary Agency. Thank you FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange for kindly supporting the event. Congratulations, Heikki Aalto-Alanen and Phaidon!

We are delighted to share a feature “The Very Modern Love Story of Mid-Century Design Duo Alvar and Aino Aalto” by Carol Kino published in 1stDibs (Reach: 4.2M).

Reviews for the Phaidon edition of AINO + ALVAR AALTO: A Life Together:

This characteristically elegant Phaidon publication, lush with images, is remarkably personal … A beautiful and important contribution to architecture and design history.”
– Booklist, starred review

This resonant monograph makes one wonder what else [Alvar] and Aino might have accomplished together had she lived into old age.”
– 1stDibs

Unique … Such an intimate level of access is possible thanks to the fact that the author is a grandson and has done much to preserve the designers’ legacy.”
– Interior Design

“Aino + Alvar Aalto is a celebration [that] honor[s] their work and the love that inspired their creative projects, offering insights into their impressive contributions to art and design.”
– Designboom

A poignant glimpse into [Aino and Alvar Aalto’s] deep bond.”
– Metropolis

Download the materials for THE STORY OF AINO AND ALVAR AALTO here!

Aino + Alvar Aalto Phaidon editions at the Finnish Consulate.

The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto

Heikki Aalto-Alanen

The love story of the world-famous, pioneering design couple Aino and Alvar Aalto, written by the Aaltos’ grandson

Alvar and Aino Aalto are internationally celebrated for their architecture, furniture, glassware, and other interior design, but their personal lives have been relatively unknown – until now. This book, written by the Aaltos’ grandson, stands apart from countless other works on the Aalto’s lives and careers. It contains photos, sketches, and personal letters between Aino and Alvar, beautifully illustrating how inseparable this couple was both in work and love, and bringing a deeply human element to their story.

Countless books have been written about Alvar Aalto’s architecture and other works. Recently, Aino Marsio-Aalto has also received the recognition she deserves in her own right as well as in her role as the partner of Alvar Aalto in his rise as one of the leading architects of the 20th century,” says Heikki Aalto-Alanen. “The voice in this book is personal. I want to tell the story of Aino’s and Alvar’s unique partnership, relationship, and their joint life work from the perspective of a family member. I also want their own voices to be heard.

In addition to the photographs from the family archive, the book is illustrated with Aino’s and Alvar’s drawings of each other and of their children, along with architectural drawings and photographs.

Otava, 2021, 462 pp.

English edition

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
ESTONIA: Postimees
FRANCE: Phaidon Press
HUNGARY: Európa Könyvkiadó
ITALY: Adriano Salani Editore
JAPAN: Soshisha
WORLD ENGLISH: Phaidon Press

About author

Heikki Aalto-Alanen

Heikki Aalto-Alanen is the grandson of architects Aino and Alvar Aalto, who has previously served as vice chairman of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, been a member of Artek’s Board of Directors, member of the Alvar Aalto Academy Board, and held other positions maintaining Aino and Alvar Aalto’s artistic work and heritage. Today he is serving as the chairman of the Paimio Sanatorium Foundation, established in 2020 to preserve Aino and Alvar Aalto's early masterpiece. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Alvar and Aino Aalto Estate Ltd. Heikki Aalto-Alanen is a lawyer by profession and has worked in the Nordic financial market.

His book tells the story of Aino and Alvar Aalto, depicted through their previously unpublished correspondence from 1921-1949, photographs and drawings.


2021, General Nonfiction, Memories & Biographies

The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto

Heikki Aalto-Alanen

Starred reviews for Katja Kettu’s wonderful novel!

This week we are celebrating the publication of THE INVESTIGATIONS OF ONE CAT, the newest novel by bestselling and award-winning author Katja Kettu and sharing the first excellent starred reviews! Warmest Congratulations, Katja!

Published on Wednesday September 27th, this novel combines historical storytelling, magical realism, and accurately and sharply recounts the pain of a miscarriage and the nearly futile attempts to carry on after such a tragedy. It received great praise right after publication:

 Katja Kettu has written a fine novel where the power of words and narrative brings truth and justice into the world. [–] Here is the novel occupied by a cat, a cat turned into a novel.”
– Maaria Ylikangas in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Katja Kettu superbly commands the verbalization of emotional charges with strong expression. [—]  THE INVESTIGATIONS OF ONE CAT alluringly combines different traditions of storytelling, as if underlining how borders and categories can be broken and pierced. The novel doesn’t stay neatly and cutely in a specific box but wanders and sprawls. Its story carries, its sensations change from one extreme to the other and its language oscillates through its wordforms and rhythms. And, amidst everything, the peculiar Cat brings delight.”
– Kaisa Kurikka in Turun Sanomat newspaper

The attractiveness of Kettu’s novels smoulders in its multipaced idioms, the rhythm of its words, the mythological material [used in the novels] and historiography… [—] THE INVESTIGATIONS OF ONE CAT succeeds in being an impressive depiction of the building blocks of being human and intergenerational experiences that shape selfhoods even after long journeys.”
– Sanna Jääskeläinen in Savon Sanomat newspaper

Download the materials for INVESTIGATIONS OF ONE CAT here!


The Investigations of One Cat

Katja Kettu

Katja Kettu’s stunning novel spins through ages whilst surrendering to the wilderness of nature and the deep yearning for offspring.

Can one find solace and meaning in life from the past once the future no longer exists?

An Author has a miscarriage and loses their ability to speak and write. From the Investigative Bureau of Heavens, a Detective is sent to the scene, but something goes awry. Soon, in the corner of the room, there appears Cat who starts examining a mysterious diary that once belonged to the Author’s Great Grandmother.

When a new life has been lost, the Author turns their gaze to the past and to the age-old words of creation in the old Finnish outskirts. The one who knows them, Great Grandmother, has the power of healers. The Great Grandmother’s diary sheds light on birth and death, love towards children, and the strength of heritage in one’s blood.

Combining autofiction and elements of magical realism, Katja Kettu’s latest novel also sheds light on the history of the Finnish frontiers.


Erään kissan tutkimuksia
Otava, 380 pp.

Reading materials:
English sample and synopsis in October
Finnish edition

About author

Katja Kettu

Katja Kettu is an acclaimed and award-winning writer with a strong, unique voice from Northern Finland. Originally from Rovaniemi, Lapland, she graduated from the Turku Academy of Arts in 2001 as an animation director and has also studied in the University of Tampere and in the National Film and Television School in the UK. She has worked as a columnist for numerous Finnish newspapers and magazines.

Her debut novel Surujenkerääjä (2005) was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and won the Tiiliskivi Prize, but her breakthrough came with The Midwife (orig. Kätilö, 2011), which won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize, the Runeberg Prize and the Thank You for the Book Medal. The rights for the novel have been sold to 19 countries, it has sold more than 160,000 copies in Finland, and in 2015 it was adapted into a film.

To date, she has published five novels, written or edited two collections of short stories, authored a graphic novel, edited a fiction/non-fiction book on women’s experiences with sexual harassment and violence, and a biography of Ismo Alanko, a Finnish musician. In addition, she has collaborated with photographer Meeri Koutaniemi and documentarist Maria Seppälä on a book and a TV series about Finnish emigrants in North America and their relationships with the Ojibwe people. Outside of literature, Kettu has directed, written or helped produce 10 animations and been a singer in the punk band Confusa.

Kettu’s works have been characterized as “Laplandic magical realism”. Kettu is meticulous in the research for her works and she is interested in microhistory, especially the fates of women caught up in conflicts where individuals have a limited influence on their lives.

Her novel Rose on poissa was a Finlandia Prize 2018 nominee. Kettu's works have been translated into 23 languages.

Katja Kettu's literary works:

Surujenkerääjä, 2005 WSOY

Hitsaaja, 2008 WSOY

Kätilö, 2011 WSOY

Piippuhylly, novelleja, 2013 WSOY

Novelli palaa! Matkanovelleja, co-edited with Aki Salmela, 2013 WSOY

Yöperhonen, 2015 WSOY

Peräkammarin poika, illustrated by Jan Andersson, 2015 Otava

Rose on poissa, 2018 WSOY

Erään kissan tutkimuksia, 2023 Otava


2023, Literary Fiction

The Investigations of a Certain Cat

Katja Kettu

Rockefellers, Windsors, Toyodas – THE 50 MOST DANGEROUS FAMILIES IN THE WORLD by Hannu Sokala published this week!

We are thrilled to let you know that THE 50 MOST DANGEROUS FAMILIES IN THE WORLD by Hannu Sokala will be published in Finland this week by Otava/Nemo!

Many of the most important big companies around the world are still owned or controlled by their founding families. However, despite wielding significant economic and political power, these families would rather like to remain away from the limelight. What kinds of challenges might these families present for equality and democracy?

In THE 50 MOST DANGEROUS FAMILIES IN THE WORLD, investigative journalist Hannu Sokala presents a unique insight into the possessions of 50 different families all over the world. The reader might already be familiar with the Rockefellers, the al-Sauds, the Windsors and the Toyodas, but many others, including the Quandts, the Safras, and the al-Nahyans, remain mostly unknown. Hannu Sokala’s book reads like a thriller novel and reveals the twists and turns in the history of these absurdly wealthy and powerful families.

THE 50 MOST DANGEROUS FAMILIES IN THE WORLD is an independent sequel to THE 50 MOST DANGEROUS COMPANIES IN THE WORLD, written by Hannu Sokala and Juha-Pekka Raeste and originally published in Finland in 2021, which has been sold to 8 territories!

As reading materials, we now have the full Finnish manuscript and English sample chapters available.

Download materials for THE 50 MOST DANGEROUS FAMILIES IN THE WORLD here!

The 50 Most Dangerous Families in the World

Hannu Sokala

They like to stay in the shadows. Who are the families that wield the most power in the world?

Worse than the Roys
Did you think the Roy family in Succession was distressing? Truth is stranger than fiction. Read about the real-life Roys, the Murdoch family.

How did the BMW owners get rich?
The main owner of the German automaker are the Quandt family. They made their first fortune by supplying the German army with uniforms during World War 1. In the 1930s, they started to collaborate with the Nazis.

What is the greatest ever fortune squandered?
Cornelius Vanderbilt amassed the largest American fortune in the world in the 19th Century. His offspring demolished their fortune by building grand mansions and throwing opulent jet-set parties.

The stories of the families in this book contain larger-than-life characters, unbelievable plots, and numerous conflicts, tragedies, and successes. This non-fiction book by the experienced business journalist Hannu Sokala offers a comprehensive and surprising perspective on the world’s most important – and dangerous families.

Otava/Nemo, 2023, 428 pp.

English sample chapters
Table of contents

FINLAND: Otava/Nemo (orig.)

About author

Hannu Sokala

Hannu Sokala has worked as a financial journalist for over 30 years, starting at the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and, lastly, as an investigative reporter for the Finnish National Broadcasting Company YLE. He enjoys digging into the biggest banks and corporations and the most powerful industries.

Hannu’s latest books (The 50 Most Dangerous Companies in the World, with co-author Juha-Pekka Raeste, and The 50 Most Dangerous Families in the World) are bestsellers in Finland.

Hannu resides with his wife, daughter, and two huskies in Tuusula, a 40-minute train ride north of Helsinki. The four seasons start at the front door of their house, which is surrounded by big trees.

In addition to books, Hannu is into music (he is only one short of seeing 30 Bruce Springsteen concerts; his most recent big favourite is the amazing Welsh artist Ren), television (do not get him started, but everything by Stephen Poliakoff and Dennis Potter, in addition to Heimat, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Gomorrah, Lost, Better Call Saul, etc.), and movies (just don’t).

His ambition is to write nonfiction in a way that inspires people to get interested in the big questions about money, economics, and democracy.


2023, General Nonfiction

The 50 Most Dangerous Families in the World

Hannu Sokala

FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY now published in German!

Publication news! 

We are excited to announce that Martta Kaukonen’s international success crime novel FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY is now out in German, published by Heyne this week! And we love their cover! 

THERAPIERT has already been praised by German bloggers:

The thriller was able to surprise me with many plot twists, fool me and was simply a great read, because especially the frequent changes between the different perspectives made me incredibly curious again and again and everything came together bit by bit and yet in suspenseful manner (…) Ultimately, in my opinion, a successful debut by the author and I am already incredibly excited to see what I can read from her next!” – Gedankenlabor blog

It’s exciting how the author succeeded in her novel to present the events as present, but the characters spoke to you as if they were reflecting on the events with us in a Netflix series. That was definitely the icing on the cake for me! (…) FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY [was] a real page turner. Every twist hits you cold and every solution you come up with is destroyed by the author in one sentence. A thriller that will take your breath away. You can no longer trust your own thoughts and the individual characters. Recommended reading for psychological thriller fans!” – Lisa Albrecht on

Kaukonen’s debut novel is in its structure and narrative style reminiscent of thrillers by Gillian Flynn (amongst others “Gone Girl”), Paula Hawkins (“Girl on the train”) or A. J. Finn (“The woman in the window”). The novel really toys with the reader. (…) A clever game of confusion that draws its subtle tension from the constant changes in perspective and the numerous twists and turns. The special narrative style makes Kaukonen’s novel so worth reading. A psychological thriller that really gets under your skin and subliminally, but sometimes ironically, also criticizes the media and psychotherapy.” – Thomas Gisbertz on

Congratulations to Heyne and Martta Kaukonen! 

FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY has been a critical success and bestseller in Finland, and was nominated for the Savonia Prize. The rights were sold to to 14 territories and the book will be published in the UK and US next year by Pushkin Press. A sequel is coming out in November 2023.

We now have a full English manuscript for you to review. Rights are still available for France, Italy, World Spanish, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, …

Download the full English text here!

Terapiassa / Follow the Butterfly

Rights sold:

CZECH REPUBLIC: Kniha Zlin/Albatros
GERMANY: Heyne (2-book deal)
GREECE: Psichogios (2-book deal)
HUNGARY: Partvonal (2-book-deal)
LATVIA: Jumava
POLAND: Czarna Owca (2-book deal)
UNITED KINGDOM: Pushkin Press (2-book deal)
UNITED STATES: Pushkin Press (2-book deal)
WORLD ENGLISH (Audio): Audible

About author

Martta Kaukonen

Martta Kaukonen (1976) lives in Helsinki. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a film critic, whose reviews have been published in both Finland’s biggest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and a popular women’s weekly magazine Me Naiset. Martta has a master’s degree in arts. She has interviewed the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Justin Bieber. Martta met her husband at his second hand bookshop and fell in love. Alongside writing, Martta loves psychological thrillers, film noir, flea markets, abandoned houses and travelling. Martta’s debut novel FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY was published in March 2021. FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY is an Instagram sensation in Finland, and the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper released a highly-praising review of it. During the first two months, the audiobook was listened to an awe-inspiring 2000 times and over. FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY  has been compared to Gillian Flynn’s novel ‘Gone Girl’. 


2023, Crime & Suspense

Meet Me in the Darkness

Martta Kaukonen

2022, Crime & Suspense

In Your Shadow

Martta Kaukonen

2021, Crime & Suspense

Follow the Butterfly

Martta Kaukonen

Publication news!

Yesterday was the publication day of the German edition of Elina Backman’s ALL THE KING’S MEN, book 1 in the bestselling Saana Havas crime series!

The German publisher Piper came up with simply stunning covers and they will follow-up with the second book in the series this summer!

Congratulations to Piper and Elina Backman!

Elina Backman is now Finland’s no. 4 bestselling fiction author (all formats)Over 60 000 copies of Elina’s books have been sold in Finland, rights have been sold for 16 territories, and an international TV-series based on Elina Backman’s books is in development by Aurora Studios. The third instalment in the Saana Havas series, BEFORE THE POLAR NIGHT FALLS is nominated for the Finnish Crime Writers’ Society’s Clue of the Year Award for best crime novel published in 2022!

Download the material for Elina Backman’s books here!




Elina Backman Saana Havas Series

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
DENMARK: Gyldendal
ESTONIA: Varrak (2-book deal)
GERMANY: Piper Verlag (2-book deal)
HUNGARY: Maxim (2-book deal)
ITALY: Newton Compton
NETHERLANDS: De Bezige Bij/Cargo (2-book deal)
NORWAY: Cappelen Damm (2-book-deal)
POLAND: Czarna Owca
ROMANIA: Lebada Neagra
RUSSIA: Mann, Ivanov, Ferber (2-book-deal)
SWEDEN: Bokfabriken (2-book-deal)
FILM & TV RIGHTS: Aurora Studios

About author

Elina Backman

Elina Backman is an author and a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki. Elina loves books (all sorts), traveling, cycling and is a host of a Book & Wine Club. She is a creative soul with a commercial mind, and her goal is to find readers globally.

Her debut novel All the King's Men was published in 2020 and immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The Havas series is now a best-selling series in Finland and an international TV series is in development. Elina's books have sold over 100 000 copies in Finland.

Together with Heidi Holmavuo, Elina has also narrated the true crime podcast Ratkaisematon (Unsolved), which turned into a full-length audio book as the two crime writers started investigating the murder of a young girl in 1967. They were able to uncover new evidence and their research led the police to reopen the investigation. This story is narrated in the book Unsolved - The Case of Elli Immo.


2024, Crime & Suspense

How to Face Death

Elina Backman

2022, Crime & Suspense

Before the Polar Night Falls

Elina Backman

2022, Crime & Suspense

Unsolved - The Case of Elli Immo

Elina Backman

2021, Crime & Suspense

Still Waters Run Deep

Elina Backman

2020, Crime & Suspense

All the King's Men

Elina Backman