Finding Sisu: In search of Courage, Strength and Happiness the Finnish way

Reading material

English proposal & sample chapters
English manuscript due 2018

Original title: Finding Sisu: In Search of Courage, Strength and Happiness the Finnish way

Published: April 2018

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (UK); TarcherPerigee (US)

Class/genre: Non-Fiction

Pages: tk

Finnish-born writer Katja Pantzar was raised and educated in Canada, where the consumerist and materially obsessed culture left her feeling empty and unhappy. When she received treatment for depression in her mid-20s, the medical practitioners treating her simply prescribed medication and sleeping pills, no thought given to her lifestyle.

After moving to Finland, Katja discovered sisu: the Finnish approach to well being defined by a special kind of resilience, grit and courage. She embraced this way of living and experienced a dramatic turnaround in her health and happiness.

Simple, functional exercise (as simple as riding her bike to work), the Nordic diet,spending time in nature and water together with a more courageous outlook, all served to transform Pantzar’s life: her anxieties, fatigue and pain left behind in the sea.

In Finding Sisu, Pantzar offers an honest (no place is perfect – Finland is not an exception) and uplifting account of her physical and psychological health transformation from a slightly lethargic depressive into an energetic optimist. She examines the link between sisu and the Nordic reputation for excellent wellbeing and overall life satisfaction, and looks at the ways in which we, too, can apply sisu to our lives – wherever we may be.

Finding Sisu is a personal but also practical guide to the power of this 500-year-old philosophy and how it can help us all to lead healthier, happier – and braver lives.

Rights sold:
CHINA, Yeeyan Publishing
CZECH REP., Mladá Fronta
FRANCE, Belfond
GERMANY, Bastei Lübbe
ITALY, Marsilio/Sonzogno
SPAIN, Roca Editorial (WS)
UK, Hodder/Hachette (WE)
US, Tarcher Perigee/Penguin Random House


Editorial praise:

“We’re delighted to be joining the growing list of publishers bringing this engaging and illuminating book to readers around the world. Anyone who enjoyed reading about hygge will surely embrace the simple and life-changing practices that Katja describes—including movement as medicine, “forest therapy,” and the elusive but empowering concept of sisu, which goes deeper than grit or perseverance, as the book so powerfully reveals.” Marian Lizzi, Editorial Director, Tarcher Perigee/Penguin Random House USA

“For us, [Finding Sisu] is a prime example of the popular Scandinavian lifestyle, which Katja Pantzar introduces to us in a wonderfully charming way!” – Sabine Niemeier, Bastei Lübbe, Germany

“[Finding] is the passport that allows you to jump in the deep end of yourself, finding a new wave – cold and cool – for your physical and emotional comfort. The book with which the Spanish readers will discover and embrace the power of sisu.” – Carol Paris, Roca Editorial de Libros, Spain

“With its beautiful sound, sisu is a magical word that will have tangible effects in your life, showing you the best way to deal with life’s hurdles and challenges. Energizing, honest, and ultimately inspiring, this original narrative from one of the happiest countries in the world will disclose to you the secret power of this untranslatable word. Forever grateful to Katja Pantzar for revealing us this inner need we’ll never want to do without.” – Patricia Chendi & Francesca Varotto, Sonzogno di Marsilio Editori, Italy

In the media:

The Times (Goodbye hygge. Hello sisu: the new Scandi trends”)

Huffington Post (Seven Reasons You Need A Little Sisu In Your Life”)

Katja Pantzar

Helsinki-based writer, editor and broadcast journalist Katja Pantzar was born in Finland and raised and educated in Canada. A freelance member of the Finnish public broadcasting company Yle’s news team, Pantzar is a regular contributor to Blue Wings, the in-flight magazine of Finnair and Helsinki correspondent for Monocle 24.

She is the author of three guides to Helsinki: The Hip Guide to Helsinki, Helsinki by Light and 100 Things to Do in Helsinki. Finding Sisu is the first book Pantzar has written that will be published outside of Finland.


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