Fourth pre-empt for THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT by Katja Kettu!

Frankfurt is in full swing, and we are happy to announce a Danish pre-empt for THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT by Katja Kettu.  The Danish rights were acquired by Lindhardt og Ringhof, who have also published e.g. Margaret Atwood, Sofi Oksanen, and Maven Uthaug! The deal was closed by Anna Kappauf at Elina Ahlbäck Literary Agency.

Sune de Souza Schmidt-Madsen, publishing director at L&R, fell in love with the title right at the fair:

My tickling experience did not betray me! As the fair around me disappeared I went back to Finland in 1917 … on the back of a cat traveling through time and space and dimensions.
Now, to me, that is what literature is. When it’s true. When it’s good. When it’s best. I am madly and completely in love with this story and wish that I knew Finnish so I could read the rest of it! 

-Sune de Souza Schmidt-Madsen, publishing director at L&R

THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT has previously sold in pre-empts to Humanitas Fiction in Romania, Albert Bonniers in Sweden and Pax Forlag in Norway.

Rights are still available for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, US, UK, etc! 
Download the materials from below – or swing by our table 10L & 10K and 9L & 9K in the Literary Agents Centre for a chat!

Download the materials for INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT here!

THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT was published in Finland on September 27th to great praise from media:

Katja Kettu has written a wonderful novel in which the power of words brings justice to the world. It isn’t harmless or beautiful, but the novel approaches words as a form of magic. [–] And what about the cat and its investigations? “Let the Cat come, let it take over my novel. I’m the one who’s weak here. Cats know a lot and care about little.” The Cat takes over the novel and is turned into a novel, and now it sticks out, funny and teasing, and difficult in so many ways.”  – Maaria Ylikangas in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

The attractiveness of Kettu’s novels smoulders in its multipaced idioms, the rhythm of its words, the mythological material [used in the novels] and historiography… [—] THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT succeeds in being an impressive depiction of the building blocks of being human and intergenerational experiences that shape selfhoods even after long journeys.”  – Sanna Jääskeläinen in Savon Sanomat newspaper

Katja Kettu superbly commands the verbalization of emotional charges with strong expression. [—] The power of many of Kettu’s works is born from combining historically dramatic and traumatic events with fictional imagination and storytelling. The same is with THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT [—]. THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT alluringly combines different traditions of storytelling, as if underlining how borders and categories can be broken and pierced. The novel doesn’t stay neatly and cutely in a specific box but wanders and sprawls. Its story carries, its sensations change from one extreme to the other and its language oscillates through its wordforms and rhythms. And, amidst everything, the peculiar Cat brings delight.”  – Kaisa Kurikka in Turun Sanomat newspaper

THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT draws you in, with its varying structure, its [—] bustling language, intriguing characters, and the swish and mood of history as its trump cards. [—] THE INVESTIGATIONS OF A CERTAIN CAT is a novel about writing a book, about fragility and strength, and about the spectrum of life. From brutal experiences, a serious, yet playful and moving whole is born.” – Tuijata. Kulttuuripohdintoja blog

Erään kissan tutkimuksia
Otava, 380 pp.

Rights sold: 
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
DENMARK: Lindhardt og Ringhof
NORWAY: Pax Forlag
ROMANIA: Humanitas
SWEDEN: Albert Bonniers

Reading materials:
English sample and synopsis
Finnish edition

About author

Katja Kettu

Katja Kettu is an acclaimed and award-winning writer with a strong, unique voice from Northern Finland. Originally from Rovaniemi, Lapland, she graduated from the Turku Academy of Arts in 2001 as an animation director and has also studied in the University of Tampere and in the National Film and Television School in the UK. She has worked as a columnist for numerous Finnish newspapers and magazines.

Her debut novel Surujenkerääjä (2005) was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and won the Tiiliskivi Prize, but her breakthrough came with The Midwife (orig. Kätilö, 2011), which won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize, the Runeberg Prize and the Thank You for the Book Medal. The rights for the novel have been sold to 19 countries, it has sold more than 160,000 copies in Finland, and in 2015 it was adapted into a film.

To date, she has published five novels, written or edited two collections of short stories, authored a graphic novel, edited a fiction/non-fiction book on women’s experiences with sexual harassment and violence, and a biography of Ismo Alanko, a Finnish musician. In addition, she has collaborated with photographer Meeri Koutaniemi and documentarist Maria Seppälä on a book and a TV series about Finnish emigrants in North America and their relationships with the Ojibwe people. Outside of literature, Kettu has directed, written or helped produce 10 animations and been a singer in the punk band Confusa.

Kettu’s works have been characterized as “Laplandic magical realism”. Kettu is meticulous in the research for her works and she is interested in microhistory, especially the fates of women caught up in conflicts where individuals have a limited influence on their lives.

Her novel Rose on poissa was a Finlandia Prize 2018 nominee. Kettu's works have been translated into 23 languages.

Katja Kettu's literary works:

Surujenkerääjä, 2005 WSOY

Hitsaaja, 2008 WSOY

Kätilö, 2011 WSOY

Piippuhylly, novelleja, 2013 WSOY

Novelli palaa! Matkanovelleja, co-edited with Aki Salmela, 2013 WSOY

Yöperhonen, 2015 WSOY

Peräkammarin poika, illustrated by Jan Andersson, 2015 Otava

Rose on poissa, 2018 WSOY

Erään kissan tutkimuksia, 2023 Otava


2023, Literary Fiction

The Investigations of a Certain Cat

Katja Kettu