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Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Imagine a world where water is its most precious commodity. It is rare and rationed. This is, of course, the future and this is a coming-of-age tale where Noria, tea master’s daughter, learns her father’s art and secrets. It is a very bleak world described in lyrical, evocative prose that almost flows like water. There is little plot until the end but the details of village life are beautifully described even though the rest of this world is not. But then that is probably how a teenager would have lived, very contained and afraid of the military who have control of the water.

If you like Emmi Itaranta you might also like to read books by Ursula Le Guin, M R Carey and Margaret Atwood.

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Synopsis

Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta

With the lyricism of Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, and the world building brilliance of Atwood, Emmi Itaranta's effortless and poignant debut novel is a coming of age story full of emotional drama and wonderment. Some secrets demand betrayal. 'You're seventeen, and of age now, and therefore old enough to understand what I'm going to tell you,' my father said. 'This place doesn't exist.' 'I'll remember,' I told him, but didn't realise until later what kind of promise I had made. When Noria Kaitio reaches her seventeenth birthday, she is entrusted with the secret of a freshwater spring hidden deep within the caves near her small rural village. Its preservation has been the responsibility of her family for generations. Apprenticed to her father, one of the last true tea masters, when Noria takes possession of the knowledge, she become much more than the guardian of ancestral treasure; soon, she will hold the fate of everyone she loves in her hands.

Reviews

Memory of Water is an emotionally nuanced moral study that draws its tensions from love, choices and the mark we all leave on the world. Both in terms of style and themes this book is reminiscent of the work of the American Ursula Le Guin. - Helsingin Sanomat Newspaper

I can't remember the last time I read a story so beautifully written and wise! Emmi Itaranta's debut is immediately absorbing, despite the fact that I thought I hated science fiction. - Me Naiset Magazine

About the Author

Emmi Itaranta

Emmi Itäranta was born in Tampere, Finland, where she also grew up. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Tampere and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent, UK, where she began writing her award-winning debut novel Teemestarin kirja (The Tea Master’s Book) under the title Memory of Water. Itäranta wrote the full text in both Finnish and English. In 2011, Teemestarin kirja won the Sci-fi and Fantasy Literary Contest organised by the Finnish publishing house Teos, and in the following years Memory of Water was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the 2014 James Tiptree, Jr Award, the Compton Crook Award, Golden Tentacle Award and Arthur C. Clarke Award. Itäranta’s professional background includes stints as a columnist, theatre critic, dramaturge, scriptwriter and press officer. She lives in Canterbury, UK, and has recently entered the strange world of writing full time.

Author photo © Heini Lehväslaiho

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Emmi Itaranta

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Author's Website

www.emmiitaranta.com
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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9780007529919

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