Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On My Shelf

Just finished something I'd recommend: The True Deceiver, by Tove Jansson. To anyone who's read the iconic Moomintroll series, or The Summer Book, it'll come as no surprise that this novel too is spare, atmospheric, unsettling, and bleakly lovely.

Here's hoping NYR brings out her other translated works in English, both because it's like coming upon a jewel (or a really good hot-cross bun, in my parlance) and because they did a particularly beautiful job with this edition. (Yes, that's the author's original cover art.)

In brief, it's the story of a small Finnish fishing village in the dead of winter, and the relationship between a reclusive aging children's-book author and a pragmatic outsider. If that makes it sound fuzzy, well, it's quite the opposite. It's very nearly cruel. But it sticks with you and sheds a lot of light on casual moral equivocations and that's all I'll say about that.

Braced for the cruelest month, kiddos? Me neither. But maybe it'll help to know that the figurine is actually titled "Kewpie Lawyers."


Lise said...
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WA said...

Hello, fellow Moomin fans! I’ve just found my way to this blog thanks to Google alert. I’m the editor of Tove Jansson's Moomin series here at Macmillan Kids. We are the North American publisher of the Moomin books and I’m pleased to let you know that we are reissuing the series in hardcover and paperback with dazzling new covers and redesigned, reset interiors. We’re publishing the first four next month, and the other four in the fall. For more info, check out: We’re also launching a line of Moomin novelty books in Feburary. Stay tuned, and feel free to be in touch with me for more information.

All best,

Wesley Adams, Executive Editor, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Anonymous said...

You look just like Moomintroll!