We are very happy to announce representation of two exciting new authors for our spring 2023 fiction list!
Please join us in welcoming the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2023 nominated Emma Puikkonen and critical acclaimed debut author Riikka Sandberg to Ahlback Agency!
You can read more about Emma and Riikka’s works below and we are looking forward to discussing their books with you in London and virtual meetings!
Photo: Jonne Räsänen
Riikka Sandberg: Ørja
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.
Ørja (Ørja, Otava, February 2023) – Upmarket fiction
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?
Reading material: English sample + synopsis
Photo: Meri Björn
Emma Puikkonen: The Black Mirror
Emma Puikkonen (b. 1974) is one of Finland’s foremost contemporary prose writers. Her works explore highly topical themes and phenomena, of which climate change has recently become the most important. She is a trained drama instructor who also teaches the literary arts and theatre.
Her work Eurooppalaiset unet (2016) was nominated for the Finlandia and Export Prizes, and an earlier novel, Lupaus (2019), met with critical acclaim. Her novel Musta peili (2021) (“The Black Mirror”, not published in English) was nominated for the Runeberg Prize and has been nominated for the 2023 Nordic Council Literature Prize.
The Black Mirror (Musta peili, WSOY, September 2021) – Literary Fiction
Nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2023!
Three women, three epochs and three destinies
The Black Mirror is a magically beautiful novel about a world ran by oil. And about the humankind who must take a look at the looking glass.
When Ida Tarbell is a child, black gold is springing from the ground in her hometown of Rouseville in the 1860s. When Lotte Teer is a child in 1973, people gather around on a picnic on an Amsterdam highway. Astrid Fuglesang has always dreamed of oil rigs and lands on one in the year 2028.
For millions of years, black liquid has hibernated beneath the earth and the ocean. When it is awoken, the humankind can no longer live without it. Ida, Lotte and Astrid are driven women whose fates are swayed by oil. Each of them takes control of it, in a way.
Reading material: Swedish manuscript available, English sample + synopsis: April 2023