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The True Deceiver (New York Review Books)

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The True Deceiver (New York Review Books) Cover

ISBN13: 9781590173299
ISBN10: 1590173295
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cariola119, November 29, 2009 (view all comments by cariola119)
Katri Kling is an outsider in the small Swedish town of Västerby. While everyone agrees that the yellow-eyed young woman with the huge nameless dog is capable and conscientious, her cold, direct manner is offputting. But Katri has a plan for herself and, even moreso, for her younger brother Mats. Through small acts of apparent kindness--delivering the mail, dropping off groceries--she weasels her way into the life of Anna Aemelin, a wealthy spinster who paints illustrations for children's books, until it seems that she is indispensible. In no time at all, the novel has shifted into an understated thriller as Anna not only becomes dependent upon Katri but begins to lose the things, connections and beliefs that comprise her own identity. But Jansson saves some surprises for the final chapters.

I loved the author's clear, clean style that so well matches the icy winter landscape and that not only sets the tone but complements Katri's personality. Yet the novel has its lyrical moments as well; in that, it reminded me of Linda Olsson's Astrid and Veronica. (Perhaps this is typical of Scandinavian writers; perhaps it is the effect of those long dark winters and the late spring sun.) Jansson also plays with fairy tale, myth, and folklore. For example, in an early moment, Anna suddenly recognizes Katri's rare smile as an illustration from one of her childhood books: the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.

This powerful little book was just what I needed to get away from the stress of the end-of-semester crunch. It grabbed me from the beginning, and I wolfed it down quickly. I will be looking for more of Jansson's adult work.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781590173299
Author:
Jansson, Tove
Publisher:
New York Review of Books
Translator:
Teal, Thomas
Introduction by:
Smith, Ali
Introduction:
Smith, Ali
Author:
Teal, Thomas
Author:
Smith, Ali
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
New York Review Books
Publication Date:
20091231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.04x4.98x.48 in. .46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The True Deceiver (New York Review Books) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages New York Review of Books - English 9781590173299 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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