Arto Paasilinna

Arto Paasilinna (1942-2018) is the most renowned contemporary Finnish author, having published 35 novels and countless other works over a career spanning 50 years. In Finland, he has been one of the most popular authors since the 1970s. His most famous books include The Year of the Hare, The Howling Miller, A Charming Mass Suicide and The Forest of Hanged Foxes. Many of Paasilinna’s books have been turned into feature films and plays and adapted to comic books. His books have sold over 8 million copies worldwide, with publishers in several countries buying out more than 15 titles each. His works have been translated into over 40 languages.

Paasilinna’s books describe the unbelievable escapades of characters including a senile engineer, an old woman who is constantly harassed by her horrible nephew, a miller who is ostracised by his community because he can’t stop howling at night and a weary journalist who adopts a hare with a broken foot. His depictions of the endless escapades of Finnish men and their irrepressible attitude towards life have claimed a permanent place in the national canon.

Paasilinna’s tragi-comical stories about life in the North—along with his keen, satirical take on Finnish society—have captured the imaginations of millions of readers around the world. Often delving into magical realism, Paasilinna is sometimes described as an eco-philosopher; his works are simultaneously timely and timeless.

Delving deep into issues including suicide, ageing, desperation and everyday dreariness, Paasilinna paints a hilarious and joyful picture of the human race. At the core of all his wild adventures lies a philosophical understanding of people as prisoners of modern conventions.

Paasilinna’s protagonists pig-headedly fight convention, mediocrity and the other scourges of modern life.

Works by Paasilinna have been adapted for film and stage both in Finland and abroad and have also appeared in graphic novel format.

Read more about Paasilinna’s most translated titles: Modern Classic Catalogue

Fictional works:

The Sheriff of Denver, 2019
Alive at His Own Funeral, 2009
The Flight of the Maidens, 2008
The Wanton Prayer Wheel, 2007
Cold Nerves, Hot Blood, 2006
The Finnish Book of Snouts, 2005
The Clumsy Guardian Angel, 2004
The Airships of Mr Liljeroos, 2003
Nine Dreams, 2002
Ten Shrews, 2001
The Last Lap of the Human Race, 2000
The World Ends in a Neigh, 1999
The Herb Garden of Unchanged Scoundrels, 1998
Sunrise on Judgement Day, 1997
The Flying Carpenter, 1996
The Reverend’s Beastly Valet, 1995
Volomari Voltinen’s First Wife and Other Old Junk, 1994
Adam and Eve, 1993
The Best Village in the World, 1992
Life Short, Rytkönen Tall, 1991
A Charming Mass Suicide, 1990
God Almighty, 1989
Koikkalainen from Far Away, 1988
The Sweet Poison Cook, 1987
Saviour Surunen, 1986
The Surefooted Shipwright, 1985
The Son of the Thunder God, 1984
The Forest of Hanged Foxes, 1983
The Golden Climber, 1982
The Howling Miller, 1981
Good Heavens!, 1980
War Horse, 1979
Looking for Grandfather, 1977
A Happy Man, 1976
The Year of the Hare, 1975
Prisoners of Paradise, 1974
Operation Finlandia, 1972

Graphic novels:

The Beastly Valet, 2006
Ronkoteus – The Flying Carpenter, 2002

 Select non-fictional works:

Faces of Europe, 1980
The National Guest Book,  1971
The Bear-Killer, 1960