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Emmi Itäranta

Emmi Itäranta holds two MA degrees, one in Drama and another in Creative Writing. Her award-winning debut novel MEMORY OF WATER (Teemestarin kirja) was published in Finland in 2012. She writes fiction in Finnish and English, and is currently working on her second novel. She lives in Canterbury, United Kingdom.
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Memory of Water: Lyrical post-apocalyptic Scandinavian tea ceremonies

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

It’s the distant future and the world seems to be quieting after the tumultuous Twilight Century that followed the end of the oil age. Still, it’s a difficult time. New Qian has taken over the Scandinavian Union. Water is scarce, so people survive on monthly water rations.

Noria Kaitio lives with her parents. Her mother is a scholar, but her father raised her to follow in his footsteps, so Noria trains every day to become a tea master like him. For the most part, her family follows the old traditions. However, her ancestors have also kept a dangerous secret: they know the location of a spring that still gives clean water.

Now, it seems, the military has begun to suspect their secret. Commander Taro visits their backwater village to try Master Kaitio’s tea. When he remarks on the clarity of the water and of the tea, he is offering both a compliment and a threat. Soon, Taro’s ... Read More

The Weaver: An enchantingly dream-like novel

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta

The Weaver (2016),  Emmi Itäranta’s second novel, is a powerful story that occupies a space between the fantastical and the allegorical. Filled with its own symbols and mythology, and set in a world with eerie similarities to our own, Itäranta’s tale of an isolated island community’s struggle to maintain order is worth several re-reads — not just for the pleasure of her prose or for the compelling plot and characters, but for the secondary text woven like a bright thread within the primary body of the novel.

Our narrator and guide is Eliana, a young woman who works in the House of Webs, a respected institution where talented weavers create blankets, tapestries, and more. What could be an idyllic life is fraught with worry and peril: Eliana can... Read More