Tommi Kinnunen’s The Light Behind the Eyes, a follow-up to his bestselling debut Where Four Roads Meet, is burning up the charts in Finland. According to the book's editor, it's getting a boost from the success of the author's debut, which has been adapted into a stage play and is the basis of a forthcoming opera.
Book title: Lopotti (in English, The Light Behind the Eyes)
First published by: Werner Söderström Ltd (WSOY) in February
Author: Kinnunen's debut, Where Four Roads Meet, set in Reconstruction-era Finland and about several interconnected characters, became a national bestseller and was adapted into two plays. The novel has also been adapted into an opera that will open in Finland in January 2017.
How it’s done: The Light Behind the Eyes hit #1 on the Finnish booksellers’ bestseller list for Finnish fiction in both February and March, then dropped to #2 in April. (May numbers are not available yet.) Rights to the novel have sold in five languages: Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Norwegian, and Swedish.
Why it’s working: As with the author’s first novel, this book benefited from strong critical reception; Finnish literary critics raved over it. The book launch happened in a theater in the Finnish city of Turku, where the author lives. As part of the launch, critics were invited to see the stage adaptation of Where Four Roads Meet.