Pirkko Saisio: A Man and His Affairs

An intense and electrifying novel about how the past can catch up with you.

Author: Pirkko Saisio
Finnish original: Mies, ja hänen asiansa
Publisher: Siltala, 2016
Genre: literary fiction
Number of pages: 280 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample

He is a lawyer, a respected professional in his sixties. She, his wife, is young and beautiful. Their marriage is like an orchid that requires ever more tending: warmth, watering, conversation, conversation…

But Pablo is dead: there’s an obituary in the paper. Can it be true? His old friend Pablo has gone. Friend? Well, at the very least, his best mate in his younger days. Or a mate, anyway. Bad stuff happened in the past, everyone knows that. Hours and days melt away. Time marches on. He has to get used to talking about Pablo in the past tense.

Pablo’s death derails the skeptical, clear-sighted lawyer. He loses his grip, his judgement becomes clouded and his mind is in turmoil. His marriage is heading for a crisis. And when a young man, son of the late Pablo, turns up at his office wanting to talk about probate and the distribution of the estate, it’s time for a reckoning.

Pirkko Saisio’s novel about one man’s week of suffering captures the reader from the very first page. The intimacy of the narrator’s voice gives rise to a mysterious tension. A Man and His Affairs is challenging, dazzling and captivating.

Also available:
Passion (2021)
Prevarications (2019)

The Helsinki Trilogy (1998–2003)

The Red Book of Farewells (Helsinki trilogy #3, 2003)
The Backlight (Helsinki trilogy #2, 2000)
The Lowest Common Multiple (Helsinki trilogy #1, 1998)

About the author:
Pirkko Saisio