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