Posts Tagged ‘The Summer Book’

The Ultimate Guide to Tove Jansson’s Books

It really saddens me that in 2013, almost twelve years after the death of Tove Jansson, we still don’t have all of her adult novels in English. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know everything she worked on. I always get people asking me what novels by her they should read, or shocked comments that they didn’t know she worked on such-and-such a piece, so I’ve decided to dedicate this post to informing readers about what she wrote personally and other works she contributed towards. I’ve chosen not to go into detail about the Moomin books because these are her most well-known novels, so instead I am focusing more on her adult novels.

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Tove Jansson Event at the Southbank Centre

On Sunday December 9th there was a free event held at the Southbank Centre in London that focused on Tove Jansson. The event itself was named ‘Tove Jansson and the Winter Book’, and it was inspired by Adam Gopnik’s new novel ‘Winter’. My initial reaction when I found out about it was that someone must be misinformed because A Winter Book is not really a book, but a compilation of Tove’s other novels (mainly Sculptor’s Daughter). Nevertheless, this made me more intrigued to go and find out what was really going on.

The talk was held by Philip Ardagh, a children’s writer, Emily Jeremiah, a lecturer and prize-winning translator of Finnish and German, and Suzi Feay, a literary journalist. They obviously started off talking about the Moomin books and how in children’s books these days, you automatically know the ‘bad guy’ is going to turn good in the end, but it’s very different with the Moomins. You never really know what to expect. Tove’s writing is so truthful and real unlike any other’s, which is why it is so successful to this day. Philip commented that she can point out the obvious and make it sound so amazing. Continue reading

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Klovharu – Tove Jansson’s Island

Yesterday, I was doing some last minute searching for information about Tove Jansson’s island Klovharu/Haru and I found some contact details for someone who organises it and asked when it is open to the public. For anyone who doesn’t know, Tove and Lars (her brother) built a house on the island of Klovharu which is off the coast of Porvoo in the Pellinki archipelago. She and Tuulikki Pietilä lived there for almost thirty years. For Finnish and Swedish readers, information is available in Tove’s book Anteckningar från en ö (Notes From an Island), published in 1996. The Summer Book (Sommarboken) gives us more information about what it is like to live on an island, and is definitely worth the read (as are all of Jansson’s pieces).

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