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The True Deceiver (New York Review Books)by Tove Jansson
Synopses & Reviews
A New York Review Books Original
Deception–the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others –is the subject of The True Deceiver, Tove Janssons most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate.
All winter long the snow has been falling on the village. The sun rises late in the day, and once it does, there is little to do but trade tales. This year the talk of the town is all about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives in a room with her simple teenaged brother and a dog she never bothered to name. She has no use for the daily dishonesties that smooth social life, but she can see to the rational core of any problem. Anna, an elderly childrens book illustrator, is a respected and easygoing, if aloof, member of society. She lives alone in her family mansion, venturing out come springtime to paint exquisitely detailed paintings of the forest floor (to which her young fans insist she add adorable pink bunnies). When Anna needs someone to help around the house, Katri eagerly volunteers. Its not long before she and her brother have moved into the mansion and taken charge of just about every aspect of Annas life and livelihood. As the season becomes increasingly oppressive, the two women find themselves engaged in a confrontation that will gradually strip away their cherished illusions.
Deception--the lies people tell themselves and the lies they tell others--is the subject of Jansson's most unnerving and unpredictable novel to date.
A New York Review Books Original
Deception—the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others—is the subject of this, Tove Janssons 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 everybodys 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 childrens book illustrator, appears to be Katris 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 Annas 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 the Author
Tove Jansson (19142001) wrote about the adventures of the Moomin family in a long-running comic strip and in a bestselling series of books for children. Jansson also wrote novels and short stories for adults, including The Summer Book (NYRB Classics).
Ali Smith is a novelist and short story writer. Her latest book is The First Person (2009).
Thomas Teal is the translator of many books, including The Summer Book (NYRB Classics) by Tove Jansson and Peasants and Masters by Theodor Kallifatides.
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