Pauliina Vanhatalo

Photographer Maiju Pohjanheimo

Genre(s): fiction, non-fiction

Pauliina Vanhatalo (s. 1979) is a northern Finnish author, beloved by readers and praised by critics. She is published by Tammi (part of the Bonnier Group) and S&S. Vanhatalo began her career writing fiction, but in recent years she has also explored mining her own life for material. Her first autobiographical book, A Moderately Difficult Year (Keskivaikea vuosi) is a darkly humorous account of the author’s first year after a depression diagnosis. Living Without a Plot (Toinen Elämä) describes that turning point in life at which all the major life choices have been made and one begins experiencing the passage of time in significantly different way. The World as I Feel It (Tuntemani maailma), to be published in February 2021, covers the themes of empathy, psychopathy and the human condition amid the climate crisis and a pandemic. Vanhatalo’s autofiction has been praised for its honesty, openness and narrative virtuosity. In it, the author seeks to achieve a similar marriage of deep emotions and sharp intellect that is displayed by masters of the genre, such as Maggie Nelson, Deborah Levy, Rebecca Solnit, Sarah Manguso and Rachel Cusk. Her Finnish translations of Solnit and Levy have been published by S&S. In her children’s book, Nipistäjä-Kerttu (Kerttu The Pincher), Vanhatalo leads young and old readers alike to ponder and marvel at the rich worlds hidden within each of us.


The World as I Feel It (Tuntemani maailma), Kustantamo S&S, 2021

Living Without a Plot (Toinen elämä), Kustantamo S&S, 2018

A Moderately Difficult Year (Keskivaikea vuosi), Kustantamo S&S, 2016

Children’s book
Kerttu the Pincher (Nipistäjä-Kerttu), illustrated by Anna Emilia Laitinen, Kustantamo S&S, 2019

Pie in the Sky (Tuulesta temmattu elämä), Tammi, 2019

Long Exposure (Pitkä valotusaika), Tammi, 2015

Irreplaceable (Korvaamaton), Tammi, 2012
Gallup (Gallup), Tammi, 2009

Playing Doctors (Lääkärileikki), Tammi, 2007

Counting to Five (Viittä vailla), Tammi, 2005

Feminsit Chick Lit (as Veera Vaahtera)

Crying with Laughter (Vedet silmissä), Tammi, 2020

Suitably Muddled (Sopivasti sekaisin), Tammi, 2017

Charmingly Awkward (Kevyesti kipsissä), Tammi, 2016

Yours by Chance (Sattumalta sinun), Tammi, 2015

Accidentally in Love (Rakkautta, vahingossa), Tammi, 2013

Happily Lost (Onnellisesti eksyksissä), Tammi, 2012

Nominations and Awards
Art Award of the Alfred Kordelin Foundation’s Raahe Fund, 2020

Botnia Literature Prize nominee, 2019, Tuulesta temmattu elämä

Botnia Literature Prize nominee, 2018, Toinen elämä

HelMet Literature Prize nominee, 2017, Keskivaikea vuosi

Runeberg Prize nominee, 2015, Pitkä valotusaika

Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize (for debut novels) nominee, 2005, Viittä vailla

Foreign rights enquiries

Helsinki Literary Agency | |

Author profile translated by Eva Malkki, Evaberry Oy.

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