Author: Selja Ahava
Selja Ahava (b. 1974) is a dramaturge and a scriptwriter. She has lived in London for five years, having since settled in Porvoo with her family. Ahava’s lauded debut novel The Day the Whale Swam Through London (Eksyneen muistikirja, 2010) was a nominee for the Helsingin Sanomat Literary Prize for the best debut novel of the year and the author also received a grant from the Laila Hirvisaari Foundation for the debut. The novel was published in Germany in 2014 and rights have also been sold to Korea. Ahava’s second novel, Things that Fall from the Sky was published in 2015 and it was nominated for the 2015 Finlandia Prize. Rights have been sold to Germany. In 2016, the EU Prize for Literature, which aims to promote contemporary European literature, was awarded to Selja Ahava for her novel Things that Fall from the Sky .


Memories are like luminescent stones laying by the side of a twisting, winding path that sometimes meets a dead end. With The Day the Whale Swam through London, Selja Ahava has written a poetic novel that invites contemplation – a book describing the darkness of memory loss without becoming submerged in melancholia. At the conclusion of the book, the protagonist Anna, whose memories are progressively fading away, feels like an intimate acquaintance.
- NDR Kultur, Germany
A poetic, masterful book about the death of a loved one. … With great poetry and astonishing subtlety, Selja Ahava relates the devastating process of a life that is gradually unravelling. The narrator's voice forges a path through this weighty subject with a charming and distinct vocabulary. ... This small book, the 39-year-old Finnish author's debut, displays a masterful use of language – a sensitive, bold communiqué from a difficult realm, a twilight zone of life.
- Schweizer Radio SRF 2 Kultur
A small, quiet book punctuated by great moments. An impressive début.
- Hörzu