Juha Seppälä

Juha Seppälä’s (b. 1956) output covers more than twenty critically acclaimed works, many of which – including novels, short prose, short stories and radio plays – have been awarded prizes. The author is known as a portrayer of barren and gloomy mental landscapes, but in his texts one can read a premonition of the grand narratives, such as love, or at least the sense of its loss. His works, like Jump Rope and short stories, have been translated into several languages. In addition to prose, television plays and work for radio, he regularly writes columns. Seppälä holds a Master of Arts in philosophy.

“’Economical’ was the jury’s word of praise when it gave the distinguished Runeberg Prize to Juha Seppälä’s collection of short stories, Suuret kertomukset (Great Tales). ‘Sharp and merciless’, added the critics. Juha Seppälä’s sentences are like Greta Garbo’s face, where no expression was allowed to stir. Emotion is perhaps not lacking, but everything that is humanly inevitable is expressed in the same way, without gestures. Seppälä lets banal details create the basic framework of his story, and there is no forced originality in his sentences.” – FILI, Putte Wilhelmsson

“…uses language, literary tradition, and expressive style like a top chef uses cooking ingredients.” –Ilkka



Lying Low (Kuoppakaupunki, novel, WSOY 2016)
Journey to the Sun 
(Matka aurinkoon, novel, WSOY 2014)
Mr. Smith
(novel, WSOY 2012)
Takla Makan
(two stories, WSOY 2010)
Devil’s Fork (Paholaisen haarukka, novel, WSOY 2008)
Year of the Frost (Routavuosi, novel, WSOY 2004)
What is Electricity? (Mitä sähkö on?, short stories, WSOY 2004)
Co-Partners (Yhtiökumppanit, novel, WSOY 2002)
On A Whim Into the Freedom (Oikku ja vapaus, short stories, WSOY 2001)
Heartland (Sydänmaa, novel, WSOY 2000)
Great Tales (Suuret kertomukset, short stories, WSOY 2000)
No Man’s Land (Ei kenenkään maa, novel, WSOY 2006)
The Rising and Setting of the Moon (Kuun nousu ja lasku, novel, WSOY 1999)
History of Finland (Suomen historia, novel, WSOY 1998)
God is A Man (Jumala oli mies, novel, WSOY 1996)
Do you Know the Type? (Tunnetteko tyypin, short stories, WSOY 1995)
A Smoke Before We Leave (Lähtösavut, short stories, WSOY 1993)
Luru (novel, WSOY 1992)
Super Market (short stories, WSOY 1991)
Jump Rope (Hyppynaru, novel, WSOY 1990)
Peacock Feather (Riikinkukon sulka, short stories, WSOY 1989)
The Bridge (Silta, novel, WSOY 1988)
The Horizon (Taivaanranta, short stories, WSOY 1987)
Tower (Torni, short stories, WSOY 1986)


Awards and nominations

2013 Shortlisted for Finnish Literary Export Prize
2012 Shortlisted for Finlandia Fiction Award
2008 Shortlisted for Finlandia Fiction Award
2006 The Cultural Prize of the Pyhä Henrikki Foundation
2006 Luomuna Art Prize
2004 WSOY Prize
2001 Runeberg Prize
2000 State Prize for Literature
1991 Shortlisted for Finlandia Fiction Award
1990 Shortlisted for Finlandia Fiction Award
1988 Kalevi Jäntti Prize


Read about Juha Seppälä’s work also in Books from Finland online: an introduction and a sample from What is electricity?, minireviews of Devil’s Fork and Takla Makan, as well as a review of Mr. Smith.