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Arto Paasilinna Jäniksen vuosi (The Year of the Hare). Different designs of the book. Arto Paasilinna. born 20.4.1942 Kittilä, Finland studied at an adult education college in Lapland (1962-1963) has written 34 books (28 of them novels) books translated into 20 languages

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arto paasilinna
Arto Paasilinna
  • born 20.4.1942 Kittilä, Finland
  • studied at an adult education

college in Lapland (1962-1963)

  • has written 34 books (28 of them novels)
  • books translated into 20 languages
  • numerous Finnish and international prizes, the latter including the Prix Littéraire Air Inter 1989, and the Giuseppe Acerbi Prize 1994
arto paasilinna4
Arto Paasilinna
  • Arto Paasilinna is a Finnish author and ex-journalist. Jäniksen vuosi(1977) being the most successful of his books has been translated into French, Estonian, Japanese, Dutch, English, German, Czech, Icelandic, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Danish, Croatian, Greek, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Slovenian.
  • Arto Paasilinna is one of the most popular current-day authors in Finland, but he has also received a quite broad reader base outside of Finland, in countries such as France and Germany.
  • Paasilinna's books reflect quite common Finnish life, usually from a middle-aged male perspective. Fast-paced, light and humorous in style, many of these narratives can be described as picaresque adventure stories with often a satirical angle towards modern life. Certain of his stories also qualify as modern myths, not least The Year of the Hare, which sets an ex-journalist's quest for authentic life and values in the Finnish backwoods against the emptiness and meaninglessness of modern consumer society. Vatanen, the hero of this novel, takes an injured young hare with him on his quest, nursing the animal back to health, while his own dissatisfaction with his former urban lifestyle becomes ever more evident.
arto paasilinna5
Arto Paasilinna, however, proves this Finland continues to exist in his contemporary novel The Year of the Hare (1977), published in 1995 by Peter Owen and translated into English by Herbert Lomas.  The book won accolades as a bestseller in both Finland and France, and gained the distinguished honour of being amongst the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, which was founded in 1948 to promote the international translation, publication and distribution of national works that are representative of a country's literature and culture.

Paasilinna writes from experience, since he was born in 1942 in Finland's Lapland, the most northern area of Europe, commonly known to outsiders for its most famous inhabitant, Santa Claus.  Lapland, or Lappi (as in Finnish), encompasses the northern parts, around or above the Arctic Circle, of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.  It is here that the Sami, or Native people, dwell along with wild reindeer and the spectacular Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.

Arto Paasilinna
the year of the hare
The hare

Statement of account




District superintendent

The President

Forest fire

In the marsh

In the church



13. Raven

14. The sacrificer

15. The bear

16. The dinner

17. Fire

18. To Helsinki

19. Crapula

20. Humiliation

21. A visit

22. The White Sea

23. In government hands

24. Afterword

The Year of the Hare


kaarlo vatanen s life before meeting a hare

His wife is:

-- unpleasant,

likes to buy neff, hideous and inconvenient clothes,

their flat is a farrago of shallow and meretricious flat-decoration, prepared according to house magazine tips,

all the items in the flat are odds,

one spring she became pregnant, but she procured an abortion, Kaarlo suppose that it was not his child,

Kaarlo doesn’t like his wife

Kaarlo Vatanen’s life before meeting a hare
  • Job
    • journalist,
    • works in weekly magazine,
    • everlasting creating a stir about possible abuses,
    • writing about minxes, models, rock-yodeller’s latest offspring,
    • previously, while beginning the job he felt he is doing something good – now it is only routine,
    • frustrated at work, cynical in consequences,
    • good salary, but sill financial problems
    • the only hobby was sailing