The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson
(New York Review Books Classics)

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Deception—the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others—is the subject of this, Tove Jansson’s most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work, from her sensitive tale of island life, The Summer Book, to her famous Moomin stories: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate. 

Snow has been falling on the village all winter long. It covers windows and piles up in front of doors. The sun rises late and sets early, and even during the day there is little to do but trade tales. This year everybody’s talking about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives with her simpleminded brother and a dog she refuses to name. She has no use for the white lies that smooth social intercourse, and she can see straight to the core of any problem. Anna, an elderly children’s book illustrator, appears to be Katri’s opposite: a respected member of the village, if an aloof one. Anna lives in a large empty house, venturing out in the spring to paint exquisitely detailed forest scenes. But Anna has something Katri wants, and to get it Katri will take control of Anna’s life and livelihood. By the time spring arrives, the two women are caught in a conflict of ideals that threatens to strip them of their most cherished illusions.

About Tove Jansson

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The writer and artist Tove Jansson (1914-2001) is best known as the creator of the Moomin children's stories, which have been published in 35 languages. The Summer Book was one of ten novels she wrote for adults. It is regarded as a modern classic throughout Scandinavia.
Published October 17, 2012 by NYRB Classics. 181 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The True Deceiver

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The New York Review of Books

We are excited to announce that Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver received June reviews in both The Nation and The Believer.

Jul 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The True Deceiver (New York R...

Curious Book Fans

It isn’t specified where exactly the setting is, it could be any tiny place in Nordic Europe, but there is generally a strong feeling of Scandinavia arising from the simple lifestyles of the characters and the interiors of the houses, and the quiet nature of the characters.

Feb 18 2010 | Read Full Review of The True Deceiver (New York R...

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