The Investigations of a Certain Cat

Katja Kettu’s stunning novel spins through ages whilst surrendering to the wilderness of nature and the deep yearning for offspring.

Can one find solace and meaning in life from the past once the future no longer exists?

An Author has a miscarriage and loses their ability to speak and write. From the Investigative Bureau of Heavens, a Detective is sent to the scene, but something goes awry. Soon, in the corner of the room, there appears Cat who starts examining a mysterious diary that once belonged to the Author’s Great Grandmother.

When a new life has been lost, the Author turns their gaze to the past and to the age-old words of creation in the old Finnish outskirts. The one who knows them, Great Grandmother, has the power of healers. The Great Grandmother’s diary sheds light on birth and death, love towards children, and the strength of heritage in one’s blood.

Combining autofiction and elements of magical realism, Katja Kettu’s latest novel also sheds light on the history of the Finnish frontiers.


Katja Kettu

Katja Kettu (b. 1978) 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, 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.

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.