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MacLehose Press has recently bought the bestselling Finnish debut Beasts of the Sea by Iida Turpeinen as a pre-emptive deal with VP and Executive editor of Little, Brown USA, Asya Muchnick. World English-language rights were also acquired from Urpu Strellman, an agent at large at Helsinki Literary Agency. The novel was purchased by Katharina Bielenberg, who’s a publisher at MacLehose Press.
David Hackston will translate from Finnish, and both the publishers, MacLehose Press and Little, Brown USA, will publish it simultaneously in June 2025. Speaking about the novel, MacLehose Press said how the Beasts of the Sea has turned out to be a literary phenomenon in its own home country.
“The first print run sold out within a week of publication. The race to buy rights to the book took over international publishing around the Frankfurt Book Fair, with eight pre-empts, and six other rights deals agreed, and two more in the offing,” they mentioned. “It has also just been nominated for Finland’s most prestigious literary award, the Finlandia Prize.”Urpu Strellman mentioned how the international success of the novel is something a Finnish debut hasn’t encountered before. “History has been made with such a row of pre-empts by great publishing houses, now crowned with two of the most renowned publishers of translated fiction in the English-speaking world. But the novel is one of a kind.”
Strellman also mentions how Iida Turpeinen has included different realms of “science and history” to create literary fiction that can only be done by a great storyteller.
Katharina Bielenberg, on the other hand, mentions how Iida Turpeinen has drafted an “impeccably researched voyage of discovery embedded in the natural world, with terrific characters, and an elegiac meditation on human shortsightedness.”
Iida Turpeinen is delighted for her novel to be now available for English-speaking readers. “The book could not have found a better home, and I am thrilled and honoured to be able to collaborate with MacLehose Press and Little, Brown Company,” she added.