Land of snow and ashes
Petra Rautiainen´s debut novel LAND OF SNOW AND ASHES ( 8/2020) was the first Finnish debut novel that sold English translation rights prior publication. At the end of the year 2020 — only just after four months from release — translation rights was sold into 10 languages. Almost half of the confirmed publishing deals including also Rautiainen’s second novel that she is currently writing.
The novel is set in the barren beautiful Lapland landscape and brings to light untold difficult themes of Finland’s wartime nazi friendly history and the assimilation of the Sámi. It has had a very good feedback from the critics and the readers in Finland and wast listed to be one of the most selling novel in August 2020.
Land of Snow and Ashes has won one of the biggest literature prize in Finland — Savonia Prize and has received four literary prize nominations: Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize, the Book of the Year prize by Finnish bookstore Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, the Savonia Prize and is nominated the Lapland Literature Prize 2021.
Recently Land of Snow and Ashes has been selected for Books at Berlinale 2021 at the Berlinale film festival.
“In my first novel I wrote the colonialisation of Sámi people and Fasism during the Second World War time in Finland and after it. In my second novel the focus is at the arctic minority and human abuse of nature. Intercultural communication – how different cultures and individuals faces one another – are the main themes of my novels .”
Translation sold so far to:
Pushkin Press (English / UK & Australia, New-Zealand)
Marsilio Editori (Italian, 2 book deal)
Meridiaan Uitgevers (Dutch, 2 book deal)
Gyldendal Norsk (Norwegian, 2 book deal)
Modtryk (Danish, 2 book deal)
“The combination of drama between the characters, social analysis and the recount of recent history of violence results in a recipe for success. A reader turns the pages at a record pace… The novel is so addictive it challenges its worst competitors – the Internet streaming services.
In this prose by a historian, punctuality and abundance of knowledge build a solid and analytical account of the world. And the actions do not merely stay in their historical context, but form a universally valid representation of the problems that are continuously relevant in power relations and for minorities.”
“The way Petra Rautiainen intertwines Väinö’s diary with Inkeri’s experience in post-war-Lapland is uniquely crafted. Through her descriptions of war, the madness, all the emotional, tragic and terrifying events are highlighted and feel even closer. Her characters come to life with just a few sentences and she has the talent to reach deep into their hopes and fears, creating an instant immersion into the story. In some chapters, she succeeds in writing a page turning thriller, passages that leave the reader breathless stand next to poetic descriptions of the northern landscape. And above all, she writes about a burning topic of today’s society: Dealing with the history of suppression, making amends to marginalized minorities and facing the whole truth of the past.”
“When we at Otava first read the manuscript for Petra Rautiainen’s debut novel, it was clear we had a real gem in our hands. The novel is the work of an exceptional literary talent, written in a powerful prose that reflects the rugged beauty of the novel’s arctic setting. At the same time, the novel reads like a thriller, exploring the dark secrets of WWII prison camps in Finnish Lapland. It is this rare combination of high literary quality and strong commercial appeal that makes Petra Rautiainen’s novel quite simply a dream come true for a publisher.”
“Petra Rautiainen’s novel is not only a fascinating story but also an example on how a work of fiction can be an important source of information on the history of indigenous peoples and other minorities. Getting to know the central characters Piera and Bigga-Marja opens a window into our Sámi culture and hopefully sparks an interest in the reader to find out more about the painful history of the indigenous people of Sámi in Finland.”
“A perfectly robust, intense thriller plot.
Land of Snow And Ashes describes the complex landscape of the 40’s Lapland ambitiously and beautifully… This debut novel explores the themes of Sámi culture and colonialism alongside German and Finnish brothers-in-arms.
The characters in the novel clearly show how very young people go to war. For them, post-war freedom in peacetime is “mere chaos”…. The novel also depicts in a relatable way the difficulty of a swaying identity in the form of a young Sámi girl.”
“I’m thrilled to have acquired Land of Snow and Ashes, a novel that opens a whole new window on an otherwise familiar chapter of history. Just as importantly, it does so by telling a gripping story and with fully developed characters. I can’t wait for readers to ‘land’ in Lapland when Land of Snow and Ashes arrives as a lead title for Pushkin in early 2022.”