In the present-world, Noria Kaitio is the tea master in a small village in the far northern reaches of the Scandinavian Union, under the control of the repressive military regime of New Qian.
In a world ravaged by global warming and massive pollution, fresh water is an increasingly endangered resource. To maintain their power the military must control the dwindling sources of fresh water.
Noria, like her father before her, is suspected of concealing a fresh water source somewhere in the vicinity of her village. When the drought grows worse, and the people of the village are dying from lack of water, Noria faces a terrible choice: does she keep her secret and watch her neighbors die, or does she share the water, knowing that sooner or later something or someone will betray her to the military? Knowledge, she slowly comes to understand, is also a kind of power.
The author, from Finland, now lives in Canterbury, England. She wrote Memory of Water in both Finnish and English; it was first published in Finland in 2012 under the title Teemestarin kirja (The Teamaster's Book), and won several prizes. It was published in English in 2014, and is currently shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Memory of Water has garnered praise as a different kind of dystopian novel. Her style has drawn comparisons to Ursula K. LeGuin. Itäranta is currently working on her second novel.
Click HERE to read a review of Memory of Water on Tor.com.
Click HERE and HERE to read other revews.
Click HERE to watch a short video interview of the author.
Click HERE to read the biographical entry on Emmi Itäranta from Wikipedia.