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Chance of Rain?

Memory of Water

Emmi Itäranta



“I haven’t dared to go to the spring in seven weeks. Yesterday I turned on the tap in the house and held the mouth of the waterskin to its metal. I spoke to it in pretty words and ugly words, and I may have even screamed and wept, but water doesn’t care for human sorrows. It flows without slowing or quickening its pace in the darkness of the earth, where only stones will hear.” Global warming has changed the world’s geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, 17-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria’s father tends, which once provided water for her whole village. But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father’s death the army starts watching their town—and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship. Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible. EDITORIAL REVIEWS “An emotionally nuanced study in morality, which draws its suspense from love, choices, and the mark that everyone leaves on the world.” Helsingin Sanomat - Finland newspaper “Where Itäranta shines is in her rejection of conventional plots and in her understated but compelling characters. The work is a deceptively tranquil examination of a world of dust and ashes where the tenacious weed of hope still survives.” Publishers Weekly “The writing is gorgeous and delicate in this dystopian award-winning debut, which is unique in both its setting and the small scale that Finnish author Itäranta employs.” Library Journal “Itäranta’s lyrical style makes this dystopian tale a beautiful exploration of environmental ethics and the power of ritual.” Washington Post Book World “Simultaneously a coming-of-age story, a fantastic adventure, and a bold warning about a future that is all too real.” Portland Book Review

About the Author

Emmi Itäranta's debut novel Memory of Water (originally published in Finnish as Teemestarin kirja) has won several awards: the Fantasy and Sci-fi Literary Contest organized by the Finnish publishing house Teos in 2010, the Kalevi Jäntti Prize for young authors in 2012 and the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize in 2012. It received an honorable mention from the 2014 James Tiptree Jr. Award jury and was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Golden Tentacle Award in 2015. Translation rights to the novel have been sold in 17 territories to date. In 2014, Itäranta's work was featured in Granta Finland 3:Best of Young Finnish Novelists. Emmi grew up in Tampere, Finland. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Tampere and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, UK. Her professional background includes stints as a columnist, theatre critic, dramaturge, scriptwriter and press officer. She lives in Canterbury, UK. Her second novel, The City of Woven Streets, will be published in the UK and US in 2016.

Emmi Itäranta

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