Today Elina Ahlback Literary Agency celebrates its 12th anniversary!

The story of the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency began in Manhattan, New York, in February 2009. While Elina’s son was skating in the skate park under the Brooklyn Bridge, the courageous decision to establish the agency was made — with its mission to build bridges between authors and publishers worldwide and with its passion to internationalize Finnish literature.

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency is Finland’s leading and first independent, international literary agency representing Finnish and Nordic authors’ and illustrators’ book, film & TV rights in international markets. The Agency also represents U.S. publishers and their authors exclusively in the Nordic countries.

We are enormously proud of the authors we have the honor to represent and  are celebrating with some of the best praises for our excellent authors and titles this Spring:

A New York Times Bestseller

Translated with icy precision, by Kristian London, is written in short, sharp, present-tense chapters, a technique which adds to its relentless tension.

– The Wall Street Journal on
The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck

 

 

 

 

 

Best Book of the Month

This provocative Finnish author enters the fray of American literature (thanks to translation from David Hackston) with a racy, wonderfully weird novel about a therapist’s sessions with a sex-obsessed woman.

– Entertainment Weekly on
My Friend Natalia by Laura Lindstedt

 

 

 

Best Travel Book of Year 2021

Packed with emotions, this book is like reading a travelogue, feminist’s manifesto and a self-help guide in one.

– The Independent on
The Women I Think About at Night by Mia Kankimäki

 

 

 

 

Best Debut Novel of the Year

By pushing her character into a crisis, a writer can sometimes observe the abyss of the mind. How eloquently we are led from the drama of a crisis into facing the questions of domination and subjugation. The intense mood is amplified by the close-knit style of expression. The general impression of this dense novel follows along the same lines as the communication between the characters: it surely is cold but it does emit some heat.

– Parnasso on
Arctic Mirage by Terhi Kokkonen

 

 

Winner of a National Crime competition 2019

Finland is the new Mecca of crime fiction. You need proof? Just read the first novel by A.M. Ollikainen. I couldn’t imagine a better start for a series. CARGO is outstanding.

– Marco Schneiders, Publishing Director, Bastei Lübbe on
Cargo by A.M.Ollikainen

 

 

 

Winner of The Best Crime Fiction Novel in 2020

This art detective thriller that is constructed around the masterpiece by Michaelangelo Caravaggio moves fluidly forward like an Italian little criminal on his scooter. The twists and turns are swift and the plot as intricate as the Sicilian courtly etiquette; yet the tranquil pace of the narration allows the reader to stay on board.

– KMV Magazine on
Lead White by Jyrki Erra

 

 

 

A national bestseller

Miika Nousiainen’s FACELIFT is first and foremost a fantastic humorous novel full of wit and charming characters. Moreover the author does not shy away from more serious issues and offers a refreshing perspective on many clichés and stereotypes. Reading Facelift is an experience not to be forgotten.

– Lucie Bregantová, Host Publishing on
Facelift by Miika Nousiainen

 

 

 

Winner of the Storytel Audio book Award 2020 for the Best Crime Novel
Winner of Elisa Kirja Book Award, Best Newcomer 2020

Our first impression after reading this wonderful book is ‘It is such a fascinating and engaging read, that your biggest challenge will be putting the book down.’ Scandinavian landscapes, 30-years old mystery, investigation, all the atmosphere – ideal mix. We even felt the True Detective vibes! We liked the masterful parallel storylines, the formed author`s style, and, of course, the perfect ending!

– Sofia Shramko, Mann Ivanov Ferber on
All The King’s Men by Elina Backman

 

A national bestseller

The title of this book immediately caught my eye, but it’s rare that a book delivers beyond its clever name. This book does. It’s an entertaining, thought-provoking read about the world we live in and the companies that, when unchecked, will shape our future.

– Joost van den Ossenblok, A.W. Bruna on
The 50 Most Dangerous Companies by Juha-Pekka Raeste and Hannu Sokala

 

 

 

An immediate national bestseller

Love is not – although abstruse – irrational….These two things, the search for love at the same time as you are escaping from it and the process of observing and describing it, are at the core of Irrational Things. — Little by little, all these irrational things are presented by Turunen to the reader in her endearing way that takes notice of the smallest details. Time flies, the narrator changes and becomes more and more aware. As a cunning writer, Turunen has fooled the reader into fearing how a distant relationship can survive. And suddenly, I as a reader, realize that all the while I’ve been following an artist’s development story.

– Suvi Ahola, Helsingin Sanomat on
Irrational Things by Saara Turunen

A.M. Ollikainen


A. M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife author duo Aki and Milla Ollikainen. Aki Ollikainen has published three novels and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2012. He has also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Prix Femina in 2016. Milla Ollikainen has published three crime novels and won Like Publishing and the Finnish Detective Society’s Crime novel writing competition in 2012. Cargo is their first novel together and the Winner of a National Crime Novel Competition. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.

Elina Backman


Elina Backman is a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki, in an old wooden 1920 house with a family of two kids and a husband. Elina loves books (all sorts), travelling, 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 dream is a tv series based on her novels.

Her debut novel When the King Dies was published in May 2020 and has immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and becoming an immediate bestseller in Finland with 10,000 copies sold in all formats. When the King Dies has been to-date sold in 13 territories and international TV series is in development.

Juha-Pekka Raeste & Hannu Sokala


Juha-Pekka Raeste covers international and domestic business for Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest newspaper in Finland. He focuses on the biggest corporations and the IT industry.

Hannu Sokala works as an investigative reporter for YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. His work covers e.g. international finance and macroeconomics.

Laura Lindstedt


Laura Lindstedt (b. 1976) became a critical darling with her adoption-themed debut novel Scissors (Sakset, Teos 2007), which earned her a nomination for the Finlandia Prize, the country’s most prestigious literary honour. She is currently revising her Ph.D. thesis on French author Nathalie Sarraute. Lindstedt’s second novel Oneiron (Teos 2015) is a work of speculative fiction that takes place in the mysterious moments that follow one’s death. Oneiron has continued Lindstedt’s critical success, earning her the coveted 2015 Finlandia Prize. Lindstedt’s latest novel My Friend Natalia has been a critical success and the rights have been sold to 12 territories.

Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author


Max Seeck - New York Times Bestselling Author of THE WITCH HUNTER.

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In Faithful Reader, AKA The Witch Hunter (US title), book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In Evil’s Net, AKA Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist.

Max Seeck is currently finalizing the third book of the Jessica Niemi series, which is to be published in Finland in September 2021.

Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing, and has lately been able to dedicate his time to his lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to movie soundtracks as he writes.

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.

Miika Nousiainen


Miika Nousiainen writes sharp, gentle and often tragicomical novels about surprising themes like long-distance running, the desire to be Swedish, and dentistry. He works as a journalist and writes also for television.

Terhi Kokkonen


Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

German rights for ARCTIC MIRAGE acquired by Hanser Berlin!

We are absolutely over the moon announcing that the German rights for Terhi Kokkonen’s debut award-winning novel ARCTIC MIRAGE have now been acquired by a very prestigious literary publisher Hanser Berlin!

They have completely fallen in love with the winner of the Best Debut Novel Award 2020,  and cannot praise it enough:

The unusual setting of the luxury hotel in the middle of the cold, snowy, isolated atmosphere of Lapland wasteland which translates directly to the inner numbness the characters, the slow unmasking of the characters, the carefully crafted language, the subtle atmosphere of menace – these are all things which made me fall in love with this phenomenal novel. I have to admit that it has captured my thoughts since the very moment I read the English sample translation, for it is not only one of the best reading experiences I had in a long time, it’s also such an interesting study of some of the most pressing issues of our time.  Terhi Kokkonen is such a brilliant, exceptional addition to our list of international authors!
– Lina Muzur, Verlagsleiterin/Publishing Director, Hanser Berlin

Download the English synopsis and sample for Arctic Mirage by clicking here

Some of the other Hanser Berlin’s authors include Ottessa Moshfegh, Christina Hesselholdt, Leslie Jamison, Karin Smirnoff, Vendela Vida, Maggie Nelson, Jonas Eika, Douglas Stuart, Hernan Diaz, Kaveh Akbar, Anuk Arudpragasam, Tommy Orange, and Svetlana Alexievich.


ARCTIC MIRAGE
by Terhi Kokkonen

When Karo and Risto’s holiday to Lapland ends in a car accident, they are forced to stay at the Arctic Mirage Hotel. Will their relationship survive the next six days?

Winner of the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best debut novel of the year 2020.

Karo and Risto go on holiday in Lapland to give themselves time to fix their stressful marriage. However, on their way back home, they’re involved in a car accident and are subsequently forced to stay at the only accommodation in the area; Hotel Arctic Mirage. Once inside, they find that the hotel has a rather strange atmosphere and it starts to have a peculiar effect on them. Karo begins to doubt her own memories and tries her best to escape the snowbound hotel holiday village whereas Risto starts to feel strange and refuses to leave.

ARCTIC MIRAGE is a strong-spirited, psychological novel about people in exceptional circumstances. It keeps the reader gripped and provides chills on every page.


It is a rich and sensitive novel in which people can be strange, lewd, and at the same time infinitely ordinary. Contradictions and a mystery-like atmosphere remain after finishing the book – as happens in the best and most fascinating novels.

– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper



Terhi Kokkonen is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

RIGHTS SOLD:

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)

ESTONIA: Eesti Raamat
GERMANY: Hanser Berlin

Terhi Kokkonen


Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

Bibliography


Terhi Kokkonen

Arctic Mirage

2020, Literary Fiction

Related news

First rights sold for ARCTIC MIRAGE and fifth for FACELIFT!

We are extremely happy to announce that the first rights for Terhi Kokkonen’s debut award-winning ARCTIC MIRAGE have been acquired by Estonian publisher Eesti Raamat!
Also, the fifth rights for Miika Nousiainen’s bestselling FACELIFT have been acquired by Odiseja in Serbia!

FACELIFT was published in September 2020 and is still the #3 title in the Finnish fiction bestsellers list!


 

ARCTIC MIRAGE
by Terhi Kokkonen

It is a rich and sensitive novel in which people can be strange, lewd, and at the same time infinitely ordinary. Contradictions and a mystery-like atmosphere remain after finishing the book – as happens in the best and most fascinating novels.
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Download the English synopsis and sample by clicking here

 

FACELIFT
by Miika Nousiainen

Facelift is a perfect feel-good novel. It meets the high expectations that we have learned to expect from Nousiainen: it’s funny, dark, entertaining and very timely.
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Download the English sample and presentation here


 

ARCTIC MIRAGE
by Terhi Kokkonen

When Karo and Risto’s holiday to Lapland ends in a car accident, they are forced to stay at the Arctic Mirage Hotel. Will their relationship survive the next six days?

Karo and Risto go on holiday in Lapland to give themselves time to fix their stressful marriage. However, on their way back home, they’re involved in a car accident and are subsequently forced to stay at the only accommodation in the area; Hotel Arctic Mirage. Once inside, they find that the hotel has a rather strange atmosphere and it starts to have a peculiar effect on them. Karo begins to doubt her own memories and tries her best to escape the snowbound hotel holiday village whereas Risto starts to feel strange and refuses to leave.

ARCTIC MIRAGE is a strong-spirited, psychological novel about people in exceptional circumstances. It keeps the reader gripped and provides chills on every page.


Terhi Kokkonen is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.


FACELIFT 
by Miika Nousiainen
Tragicomic tale of life’s biggest questions and their surprisingly simple answers.

Sami has a dream: he desperately wants to be a father. His biological clock has been ticking for the past 15 years so loudly that sometimes it’s hard to hear his own thoughts. But it’s not so easy to become a father, first of all, you need to find a suitable future mother candidate.

But when Sami’s latest future-mother-candidate rides off with a biker guy, he makes a series of bad choices that cause him to anger the local motorcycle gang. How to fix a life where everything seems to go wrong? Sini, a wellbeing blogger with perfectly instagrammable life arrives to offer a solution.


Miika Nousiainen writes sharp, gentle and often tragicomical novels about surprising themes like long-distance running, the desire to be Swedish, and dentistry. He is one of the bestselling Finnish writers of the last decade. Miika works as a journalist and writes also for television.

Miika Nousiainen


Miika Nousiainen writes sharp, gentle and often tragicomical novels about surprising themes like long-distance running, the desire to be Swedish, and dentistry. He works as a journalist and writes also for television.

Terhi Kokkonen


Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

EALA Spring 2021 Fiction Rights Guide

We are happy and proud to share our spring 2021 Fiction Rights Guide and announce amazing new titles from bestselling crime to award-winning literary fiction and heartwarming feel-good!

Browse our full Spring 2021 Fiction Rights Guide here.

 


Cargo by A.M. Ollikainen
Winner of National Crime Novel Competition

The first in a fast-paced and addictive Nordic Noir series. A.M. Ollikainen is Finland’s Lars Kepler!

A cargo container is found in Helsinki with a dead body inside.The container and the property where it’s found belongs to one of the most notorious businessmen in Finland. As Police Commissioner Paula Pihlaja begins to investigate the case, traces lead back to the businessman’s family, revealing decades of suspicious business ventures in Africa.

Reading materials coming in April

 

Bad Blood (Jessica Niemi #3) by Max Seeck
New York Times Bestselling Author
A prominent business executive Eliel Rosenström is found brutally murdered in his home in Helsinki. The murder motive become less clear, when the police finds out that the murderer had other targets as well. The only clue the police has is a photo of Rosenström with three other men, whose faces are all scratched off. Who are the faceless men, and why can’t the police identify them? Are they other victims? Or something more sinister?

Full English coming in September

 

Still Waters Run Deep by Elina Backman
A standalone sequel to All the King’s Men
Is evil lurking beneath the calm waters? Three young men are making a documentary film about a mystical hermit, living in the Isle of Sheep in Helsinki. First one of them disappears, then another one. When one of them is found dead in the nearby nature reserve, the police becomes involved.

Download the English synopsis from here

 

 Bechi by Koko Hubara

A groundbreaking debut novel from one of the most interesting authors of the generation. This is the story of a simultaneously close and destructive relationship between a mother and a daughter, and of a desire to belong somewhere while also wanting to break free.

Bechi is in her thirties, and lives in Helsinki, where she is trying to finish her master’s thesis. Her mother Shoshana is a writer of Yemeni Jewish heritage. Her autobiographical novel shocked readers in Finland, but she has also burned all the bridges between her family in Israel.

When Bechi tells her mother about her pregnancy, many years of tension come to a head. How can two people remember everything so differently? More importantly, what are the things that they would rather forget?

English sample coming soon!

 

Irrational Things by Saara Turunen

Autofictive story of love, death and life between two countries. Turunen’s funny, witty and melancholic voice examines the contradiction of sense and sensibility.

What if you are in love with a good man – a man you have always wanted to fall in love with? But what if this man lives in one country and you in another? Should you be sensible and leave the man to be free and independent? Or should you follow your heart, burn the bridges behind, and go after him?

Download 100-page English sample & synopsis from here

 

Homestead by Ann-Luise Bertell
Finlandia Prize and Runeberg Award Nominee 2020
When Elof is ten years old, his father dies, leaving him and his little brother Ivar alone at the mercy of their relatives. Elof learns that he must never show fear, especially not in front of others and never to his wife Olga, whom he never really gets close to. Pride is the most important thing to Elof, as is their homestead, Heiman, which is all the family has ever truly owned.

Download English sample and synopsis from here or request the Swedish ms

Arctic Mirage by Terhi Kokkonen
Winner of the Debut Novel competition 2020

Literary mystery with a “Twin Peaks” vibe set in Finnish Lapland.

Karo and Risto go on holiday in Lapland to give themselves time to fix their stressful marriage. However, on their way back home, they’re involved in a car accident and are subsequently forced to stay at the only accommodation in the area; Hotel Arctic Mirage. Once inside, they find that the hotel has a rather strange atmosphere and it starts to have a peculiar effect on them. Karo begins to doubt her own memories and tries her best to escape the snowbound hotel holiday village whereas Risto starts to feel strange and refuses to leave.

Download English sample and synopsis from here

 

My Friend Natalia by Laura Lindstedt
US Debut in March 23rd, 2021 by W.W. Norton/Liveright

A bold, and brave novel about young woman’s sexuality, the power of narration, and identity.

Natalia starts to see a therapist to help solve the problems in her sex life. It is clear from the beginning that she is not going to play by the rules of the therapy. The weekly sessions combine art, philosophy, literature, childhood memories, and erotic experiences as a method of treatment, and slowly they make Natalia lose all her inhibitions. She starts to enjoy the therapy – maybe too much?

Download the full English pdf from here

 

Charming Duke by Sara Medberg

Bridgerton meets Jane Austen in 19th century Sweden

The lady of Blackthorn Castle, beautiful Arabella, has been widowed and fallen into poverty. In the midst of all adversity, she is encouraged by Jane Austen’s literary heroines. However, the shadows of the past won’t leave Arabella alone: she encounters a dazzling English duke who claims to know a fatal secret about Arabella’s late spouse.

Download the English synopsis from here – sample coming soon

A.M. Ollikainen


A. M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife author duo Aki and Milla Ollikainen. Aki Ollikainen has published three novels and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2012. He has also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Prix Femina in 2016. Milla Ollikainen has published three crime novels and won Like Publishing and the Finnish Detective Society’s Crime novel writing competition in 2012. Cargo is their first novel together and the Winner of a National Crime Novel Competition. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.

Elina Backman


Elina Backman is a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki, in an old wooden 1920 house with a family of two kids and a husband. Elina loves books (all sorts), travelling, 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 dream is a tv series based on her novels.

Her debut novel When the King Dies was published in May 2020 and has immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and becoming an immediate bestseller in Finland with 10,000 copies sold in all formats. When the King Dies has been to-date sold in 13 territories and international TV series is in development.

Koko Hubara


Koko Hubara (MSSc., 1984) is the founder of Brown Girls Media (Ruskeat Tytöt Media), the first for us by us media for people of color in Finland. She is the first editor-in chief of color in the history of Finland. She is also a freelance journalist, essayist, translator and creative writing teacher. Hubara is a native of Vantaa, with origins in Vyborg, Carelia, Kemijärvi, Lapland, Israel and Yemen. Her debut work, the essay collection Brown Girls (Ruskeat Tytöt – Tunne-esseitä) was released in 2017, and has been translated into Swedish. Hubara has won many awards for her antiracist work in the Finnish context. Bechi is Hubara’s first novel.

Laura Lindstedt


Laura Lindstedt (b. 1976) became a critical darling with her adoption-themed debut novel Scissors (Sakset, Teos 2007), which earned her a nomination for the Finlandia Prize, the country’s most prestigious literary honour. She is currently revising her Ph.D. thesis on French author Nathalie Sarraute. Lindstedt’s second novel Oneiron (Teos 2015) is a work of speculative fiction that takes place in the mysterious moments that follow one’s death. Oneiron has continued Lindstedt’s critical success, earning her the coveted 2015 Finlandia Prize. Lindstedt’s latest novel My Friend Natalia has been a critical success and the rights have been sold to 12 territories.

Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author


Max Seeck - New York Times Bestselling Author of THE WITCH HUNTER.

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In Faithful Reader, AKA The Witch Hunter (US title), book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In Evil’s Net, AKA Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist.

Max Seeck is currently finalizing the third book of the Jessica Niemi series, which is to be published in Finland in September 2021.

Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing, and has lately been able to dedicate his time to his lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to movie soundtracks as he writes.

Saara Turunen


Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed award-winning author, playwright and director. She is known for her bold and direct style and much of her work examines the themes of identity and social norms. Her latest novel Irrational Things (Spring 2021) is a story of love, death and life between two countries. It has sold already over 15.000 copies.

Turunen has previously authored two highly acclaimed novels, Love/Monster 2015 and The Bystander 2018. Her debut novel Love/Monster won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015. In addition to her work as a novelist, Turunen is also known for her plays. They have been translated into 13 languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was awarded with the Finland Prize in 2016, with the City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award in 2018 and with Lea-Award in 2020, all high profile awards given in Finland.

Sara Medberg


Sara Medberg is a historian currently writing her doctoral dissertation about the education of highborn girls in the18th century. The ideas for her novels come from her research. In her thesis she studies young womens' conduct manuals in Sweden in the 18th century from the perspective of the modernising ideals for women and the upbringing of girls.

Sara has received academic scholarships from the Swedish Cultural Foundation, Waldemar von Frenckell's Foundation and the Swedish Literature Society. Including others, her literary work is sponsored by the Finnish Author Association and Otava's Book Foundation.

Medberg enjoys costume dramas, fashion from the past, castles, mansions, shopping and running. In Finland, her novels have already sold over 20,000 copies.




Terhi Kokkonen


Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

Year 2020 at Elina Ahlback Literary Agency: New York Times Bestselling Author Max Seeck, Award-winners and Bestsellers

The year 2020 marks a historic moment for Finnish Literature Exports: Elina Ahlback Literary Agency’s author Max Seeck and his US debut The Witch Hunter became an instant New York Times Bestseller in November 2020. Congratulations to Max Seeck, New York Times Bestselling Author, for writing his way into Finnish literary history! Furthermore, a Hollywood TV series based on The Witch Hunter is in development by Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures.

The year 2020 brought more bestsellers, award-winners and nominees from Finland to the World’s Literary Map.

We are grateful to our wonderful authors, to our great publishers and collaborators around the world, and wish everyone a Happy Holiday season!

 The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck
Uskollinen lukija, Tammi 2019AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Rights sold to 40 territories

“The Witch Hunter, translated with icy precision by Kristian London, is written in short, sharp, present-tense chapters, a technique which adds to its relentless tension. Flashbacks to earlier episodes in Jessica’s life suggest that the strangeness currently unfolding is tied to her personal history. Discovering the how and why of it brings a resolution as bleak as anything Poe might have conjured.” –Wall Street Journal

AWARD WINNERS:
Arctic Mirage by Terhi Kokkonen
Rajamaa, Otava 2020Winner of the 2020 Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize – Prestigious award for the best debut novel of the year.

 

“In a rich and sensitive novel in which people can be strange, lewd, and at the same time infinitely ordinary. Contradictions and a mystery-like atmosphere remain after finishing the book – as happens in the best and most fascinating novels.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

When the King Dies by Elina Backman
Kun kuningas kuolee, Otava 2020Winner of the Elisa Audio Book Award 2020: Best newcomer

“A Star is Born”. – Iltalehti newspaper

Ripple Effect by Leena Lehtolainen
Jälkikaiku, Tammi 2020Winner of the Elisa Audio Book Awards 2020: The Best Crime Novel

Pro Finlandia Medal awarded by the Order of the Lion of Finland as a lifetime achievement.

 

“In Ripple Effect everything really works. The curtains of secrets sway appropriately, sometimes covering, sometimes revealing. The daily life of the police and the civilian life is mixed in an appropriate proportion.” – Amman lukuhekiä blog

Homestead by Ann-Luise Bertell
Heiman, Förlaget 2020Nominated for Finlandia Prize 2020
Nominated for Runeberg Prize 2021

“Homestead is a captivating and rooted story that takes us through Ostrobothnia for four generations in a spacious landscape. The language of the book is accurate but gestureless, the characters carry pain under the cross-pressure of who they are and who they desire to be. Bertell looks at her characters gently, even when they least deserve it.”  – Finlandia Prize Jury

Stormseye by Meri Luttinen
Myrskynsilmä, WSOY 2020Nominated for Finlandia Prize for Children’s & YA Literature 2020
Nominated for Topelius Prize 2021

“In the age-old rite, young girls find their life mission. Kainu’s fate turns out to be to become a sage, which brings with it a great deal of responsibility. She has to solve the riddle of the Stormseye pendant to find herself and her place in the community. Set in the ancient Finnish fantasy world, the debut novel is a great growth story that deals with difference, loneliness and overcoming one’s own fears.” – Topelius Prize Jury

Agnes and the Garden of Dreams by Tuutikki Tolonen
Agnes ja unien avain, WSOY 2020Nominated for Arvid Lydecken Prize 2021

”This book has the reader hooked up from the beginning! One has to read a chapter after chapter – even though it would be time to sleep.” – Maaseudun tulevaisuus newspaper

A Beautiful Day to Die by Veera Salmi
Kaunis ilma kuolla, Otava 2020Nominated for Topelius prize 2021

“The road trip-inspired book realistically and credibly describes the lives of young people in situations from which there seems to be no way out. The novel challenges us to think about the significance of starting points for life and its direction. At the same time, it tells a resounding story about the difficulty of making choices, getting to know yourself, and taking responsibility.” – Topelius Prize Jury

NATIONAL BETSELLERS:
Greatest of All is Love. The Marimekko Story by Ulla-Maija Paavilainen
Suurin niistä on rakkaus, Otava 2020 

“The Marimekko story is entertaining read. Sometimes you laughs and sometimes you cry as this glamorous lady makes things happen at her own way. However, the biography written by Ulla-Maija Paavilainen is not just a song of praise for a business guru, but it also depicts Kirsti Paakkanen’s weaknesses and painful moments, such as infertility and loneliness.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Extraordinary Women of History by Maria Pettersson
Historian jännät naiset, Atena 2020 

“Inspiring book! It is well written and made me want to learn more. I have found myself googling many of these women afterwards. This book can really be recommended to anyone. Personally I read it in two days. Please, read it! ” – Anikó Lehtinen, journalist

Facelift by Miika Nousiainen

Pintaremontti, Otava 2020

 

“Facelift is a perfect feel-good novel. It meets the high expectations that we have learned to expect from Nousiainen: it’s funny, dark, entertaining and very timely.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Elina Backman


Elina Backman is a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki, in an old wooden 1920 house with a family of two kids and a husband. Elina loves books (all sorts), travelling, 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 dream is a tv series based on her novels.

Her debut novel When the King Dies was published in May 2020 and has immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and becoming an immediate bestseller in Finland with 10,000 copies sold in all formats. When the King Dies has been to-date sold in 13 territories and international TV series is in development.

Maria Pettersson


As a child, Maria Pettersson’s dream job was to be an international adventurer. Instead, she became an award-winning journalist, the editor-in-chief of several magazines and a serious history geek. She has worked for the biggest newspapers, radio stations and TV channels in Finland. She has travelled in over 70 countries, got married in Vegas and spent her honeymoon in North Korea. Her hobbies include games and roleplaying, observing big machines, studying small Slavic languages and visiting dead dictators. She currently lives in Helsinki, Finland.

Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author


Max Seeck - New York Times Bestselling Author of THE WITCH HUNTER.

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In Faithful Reader, AKA The Witch Hunter (US title), book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In Evil’s Net, AKA Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist.

Max Seeck is currently finalizing the third book of the Jessica Niemi series, which is to be published in Finland in September 2021.

Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing, and has lately been able to dedicate his time to his lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to movie soundtracks as he writes.

Meri Luttinen


Meri Luttinen is an award-winning Finnish debut writer from Tampere. Her debut Stormseye won the Topelius prize and was nominated for both Kuvastaja Award and Finlandia Prize for Children's & YA literature in 2020.

She has a Master's degree in Finnish language and literature and has worked teaching Finnish and creating study materials. Luttinen is fascinated by everyday life in different eras and wants to transport readers to other worlds with her texts.

Miika Nousiainen


Miika Nousiainen writes sharp, gentle and often tragicomical novels about surprising themes like long-distance running, the desire to be Swedish, and dentistry. He works as a journalist and writes also for television.

Terhi Kokkonen


Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

Tuutikki Tolonen


Tuutikki Tolonen is the author of several acclaimed children’s books, plays and academic articles. For Monster Nanny she received the Arvid Lydecken award. She teaches creative writing and has worked as an editor and reporter at Vinski, Finland’s only literary journal for children. Her inspiration for the Monster Nanny trilogy sparked during a family breakfast. “My son Leo, then six, said: ‘I heard on the radio yesterday that all moms have to go on vacation and monsters will take their places,” she says.

Tolonen is currently writing the Agnes series, of which the first book "Agnes and the Garden of Dreams" was in 2020 nominated for both Runeberg Junior and Arvid Lydecken Awards and won LukuVarkaus 2020 award!

Ulla-Maija Paavilainen


Ulla-Maija Paavilainen, award-winning journalist, is the author of several well-received novels and non-fiction books. She has worked as the editor-in-chief at several top Finnish magazines over the past 25 years. One of her specific areas of interest is the role of women in working life and analysing the power structure and what is required for women to have successful careers.

Paavilainen’s most recent work is the moving biography of the legendary entrepreneur Kirsti Paakkanen, who took over Marimekko, one of Finland’s most famous design brands. Kirsti Paakkanen: Greatest of All is Love is the story of Marimekko, an authentic rags-to riches tale of how a poor girl from the countryside first founded the world’s first all-women’s advertising agency, Womena. Selling Womena when she was 62, Paakkanen bought Marimekko, a global design company that was on the verge of bankruptcy and turned it around into an international iconic fashion house.

Veera Salmi


Veera Salmi (1976) is a Helsinki-based writer, who has worked over 15 years as a kindergarten teacher. The real starting point for her career as a writer was given by the children in the kindergarten, who said they wanted to hear storied of children who live in the city. So she started writing such stories. Now Veera Salmi is a bestselling author of over 20 books.

A Beautiful Day to Die is her brand new young adults’ novel. When Salmi wrote the book she travelled around Helsinki by metro, and listened to the teenagers and young adults, making notes about the rich, innovative and international language they used.

Welcoming New Authors

We are excited to introduce our new award-winning and Finlandia nominated authors: Terhi Kokkonen, Ann-Luise Bertell, Meri Luttinen and A.M. Ollikainen. Welcome to the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency!

 

Arctic Mirage by Terhi Kokkonen (August 2020 by Otava)

Winner of the 2020 Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize – Prestigious award for the best debut novel of the year

Arctic Mirage is a strong-spirited, psychological novel about people in exceptional circumstances. It keeps the reader in its grip and gives you chills page after page.

Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known as the vocalist of Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.

 

Homestead  by Ann-Luise Bertell (February 2020 by Förlaget)

Nominated for the Finlandia Prize 2020

Homestead is a story about four generations on the Ostrobothnian plain. It is a dizzying, sharp story about what it is like to be human. About carrying grief and loss, about feeling inadequate, and about how we support each other through life. This concentrated family chronicle that asks itself what price you have to pay if you never get to be yourself. Ann-Luise Bertell writes epic with a great drive, crystallized in scenes and strong sensual sensations and emotions.

Ann-Luise Bertell in an author and a theater director, born 1971 in Oravais, Finland. She has gratuated from Finnish Theater Academy, and debuted as a writer in 1997 with the collection of poems, ‘Rus av gul’, and has since written poems, short stories, a children’s book, plays and two novels. Turn around my longing (Vänd om min längtan, 2016), was awarded the Yle Prize and the Choreus Prize. Her second novel Homestead (Heiman) was published in 2020 and was nominated for the Finlandia Prize. Bertell has been Wasa Theatre’s director since 2020, but also a mother of three, dog owner, hiker, seeker, spy and bookworm.

 

 

Stormseye by Meri Luttinen (September 2020 by WSOY)

Nominated for the Finlandia Prize for Children’s & YA Literature 2020

Stormseye is an adventure set in the ancient Finnish fantasy world is also a touching story about a young adult finding her own place in the society.

Meri Luttinen (1987) is a Tampere-based debut writer. She has a Master’s degree in Finnish language and literature and has worked with Finnish teaching and study materials. She has studied writing at the Viita Academy Writing School. Luttinen is interested in people’s everyday lives in different eras and wants to take readers to other worlds with her texts.

 

Cargo by A.M. Ollikainen (March 2021 by Otava)

Winner of a national Crime writing competition 2019

Cargo begins a fast-paced and addictive Nordic noir series. A cargo container with a drowned body inside is found on the lands of a notorious business man in Helsinki. As Police Commissioner Paula Pihlaja begins to investigate the case, traces lead back to the family’s suspicious business affairs in Africa over the decades.

A.M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife author duo Aki and Milla Ollikainen. Aki Ollikainen has published three novels and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2012. He has also beenA longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Prix Femina in 2016. Milla Ollikainen has published three crime novels and won Like Publishing and the Finnish Detective Society’s Crime novel writing competition in 2012. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.

A.M. Ollikainen


A. M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife author duo Aki and Milla Ollikainen. Aki Ollikainen has published three novels and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2012. He has also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Prix Femina in 2016. Milla Ollikainen has published three crime novels and won Like Publishing and the Finnish Detective Society’s Crime novel writing competition in 2012. Cargo is their first novel together and the Winner of a National Crime Novel Competition. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.

Meri Luttinen


Meri Luttinen is an award-winning Finnish debut writer from Tampere. Her debut Stormseye won the Topelius prize and was nominated for both Kuvastaja Award and Finlandia Prize for Children's & YA literature in 2020.

She has a Master's degree in Finnish language and literature and has worked teaching Finnish and creating study materials. Luttinen is fascinated by everyday life in different eras and wants to transport readers to other worlds with her texts.

Terhi Kokkonen


Terhi Kokkonen (1974) is a Helsinki-based musician and pop lyricist. She is known for the band Scandinavian Music Group, as well as being one of the singers of the band Ultra Bra. Kokkonen has studied dramaturgy at the Theater Academy and screenwriting and film editing at the Department of Cinematography and Stage Design at Aalto University. Arctic Mirage is her debut novel, and it was awarded as the best debut novel of 2020.