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1036 pages

Life: A Prologue

Elämä: esipuhe

One night, the word ERROR appeared in the night sky.

‘Are you really saying that you don’t occasionally – at intervals yet to be defined – wake up, start, as if surfacing, with an odd, rubbery taste in your mouth? Doesn’t the room in which you wake up always seem utterly alien, blazingly white, and you scrabble to rise out of the thickened light as if tangled up in the curtains, and you think that the odd taste in your mouth, the taste of salty rubber, has something to do with all this?’

Here’s our cast: Henri Classic, whose job it is to design a new kind of cinema; Samuel Classic, who frets over his failure to experience the age of the Aztecs; Silvia Classic, who writes children’s books full of coprophilia and parochial politics; Nikolei Bidé, who enjoys nationwide celebrity as a chef making insect-based dishes; Olof Beskow, who creates oppressive adverts for dildos that fail to satisfy. And many, many others. They share the centrepoint of their orbits: an overarching project which aims to make life, and all it contains, three-dimensional. Do you feel that you’re being observed? No wonder.

In his new novel LIFE: A PROLOGUE, acclaimed Finnish writer and author of critically-acclaimed O (WSOY, 2017), Miki Liukkonen presents the reader with probable impossibilities and ominous probabilities. Liukkonen doesn’t just transcend the horizon of expectations – he moves it to a new place.


‘…the most significant work I have read during my entire career as a literary journalist. Nothing like this has ever been done in the history of Finnish fiction.’ – Seppo Puttonen, Literary journalist, YLE Finnish Broadcasting Corporation

‘…a metafictional novel that spans over a thousand pages and leaves no tangent unexplored. Life: A Prologue showcases Liukkonen’s literary genius and pulls the reader into a masterpiece of world literature. If this is not an export work, nothing is.’ – Aamulehti newspaper

‘Life: A Prologue is an ambitious, grand novel that can be called one of the most important events of this literary autumn. The meandering narrative does not let the reader off easily; it demands attention and concentration. But the broad spectrum of characters and skillful use of language make it a joy to read this impressive work, where humour also plays a key role. – Suomen Kuvalehti magazine

Prizes & Nominations

Winner – ‘Most Beautiful Books of 2021’ competition, category fiction (designer Jussi Karjalainen)
Nominee – Botnia Prize 2022
Nominee – Tulenkantaja Prize 2021


Finnish Edition
English sample translation 40 pp
Author Letter