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181 pages

Alive at His Own Funeral

Elävänä omissa hautajaisissa

Part fairy tale, part narrative fiction, Paasilinna’s final novel tells a thought-provoking story of masculinity, bravery, and the many different paths a person’s life can take.

Set in the midst of the Winter War, Alive at His Own Funeral tells the story of refugee Arttu Tukkijänkä, a young man who lives in Salla and spends a lot of time with his father. Tukkijänkä is a practical young man who enjoys taking on DIY projects—and he turns out to be a dab hand at pretty much everything he tries.

Tukkijänkä makes his living as a funeral photographer and, after witnessing a poorly organised funeral, he starts planning his own. But his wife doesn’t think it’s a great idea…

Alive at His Own Funeral is a story about masculinity, bravery and the many different paths that a person’s life can take. It was Paasilinna’s 36th book and the last of his works to be published during his lifetime.

Arto Paasilinna (1942-2018) is the most renowned contemporary Finnish author, having published 35 novels and countless other works during his lifetime. 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. Paasilinna’s works have been translated into over 40 languages.


Finnish PDF

Rights sold

Czech (Hejkal), rights reverted


“With its loose narrative form and a certain kind of simple naivety, this book contains lots of jovial humour.” – Savon Sanomat newspaper

 “Arto Paasilinna has dealt with themes of death, suicide and post mortems before. Now, as he prepares for what comes next, the reader doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper