Review :: Memory of Water
Memory of Water
The original novel was published in 2012.
Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize 2012.
Philip K. Dick Award nominee 2014.
An amazing, award-winning speculative fiction debut novel by a major new talent, in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin
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, seventeen-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.
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 debut novel Teemestarin kirja (literal translation: The Tea Master's Book) under the title Memory of Water. Itäranta wrote the full text in both Finnish and English, and an excerpt of the novel appeared in the Canterbury Laureate Anthology On the Line in 2010. In 2011, Teemestarin kirja won the Sci-fi and Fantasy Literary Contest organised by the Finnish publishing house Teos. Itäranta's professional background includes stints as a columnist, theatre critic, dramaturge, scriptwriter and press officer. She lives in Canterbury, UK, and divides her time between a day job at the University of Kent and writing.
Photo by Heini Lehväslaiho.