Secrets of my Vanity Case

Rights sold:

WORLD ENGLISH: HarperCollins

CROATIA: Planetopia
ESTONIA: Rahva Raamat
FINLAND: Gummerus
FRANCE: Editions Leduc.s

Original title: Meikkipussin pohjalta

Author: Kaisa Haatanen

Illustrator: Kaisa Haatanen

Published: 2014


Class/genre: Literary

Pages: 170

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A sneakily wise novel for grown women: a simultaneously light and merciless story of self-examination.

With her 50th birthday approaching, publishing director Tytti Karakoski notices a decline in her previously springy energy level, enthusiasm and curiosity towards the world. Tiredness gives way to exhaustion and languor to indifference. Tytti isn’t quite sure what has happened, but thankfully her stable financial situation allows her to take part in an experiment: a writing sabbatical.

It’s time to stop and contemplate a change – and to make an alphabetic list of all the things that matter. These notes form a tapestry of the life of a single adult woman: Kaisa Haatanen’s debut novel is a delicious and sharp portrait of what this life should look like, and what it actually is.


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”Haatanen demonstrates wisdom in her prose, articulating resounding truths about life and the world. Still the book is so entertaining that while reading I accidentally rode past my tram stop. And, characteristically of the best kind of humor, these texts also have a tragic element and plenty of self-mocking irony. The end product is, in a word, hilarious.”
Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

”Haatanen’s novel is so rousingly funny, sharp, relatable, self-deprecating, touching and thoroughly wonderful that I couldn’t put it down until I had read through the very last page.”
Lily magazine, Tuhat ja yksi kirjaa (”A Thousand and one Books”) blog, Finland

“Haatanen’s prose is both shameless and sophisticated.”
Etelä-Saimaa newspaper, Finland

Kaisa Haatanen

Kaisa Haatanen (b. 1966) is a Helsinki-based publisher who describes herself as ”an old maid, a firstborn and a big sister, not particularly ugly or particularly beautiful.” She has worked with books for her entire career, first as a bookseller for nearly a decade and later as an editor. A fan of detective stories, historical fiction, children’s literature and smart fiction written by women, Haatanen describes reading as her most important hobby. The glowingly reviewed Secrets of my Vanity Case (Johnny Kniga) is her debut novel.


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