Art in Nature : And Other Stories, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


An elderly caretaker at a large outdoor exhibition, called Art in Nature, finds that a couple have lingered on to bicker about the value of a picture; he has a surprising suggestion that will resolve both their row and his own ambivalence about the art market.

A draughtsman's obsession with drawing locomotives provides a dark twist to a love story.

A cartoonist takes over the work of a colleague who has suffered a nervous breakdown only to discover that his own sanity is in danger.

In these witty, sharp, often disquieting stories, Tove Jansson reveals the fault-lines in our relationship with art, both as artists and as consumers.

Obsession, ambition, and the discouragement of critics are all brought into focus in these wise and cautionary tales.




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Finnish writer Tove Jansson is always a revelation. Known for her children's books about the Moomintrolls. Her books of short stories for grown ups and short novels are evocative, funny and sometimes painful. The most recent volume to be translated into English is Art in Nature. This collection, more than the others seems to focus on people who are either adrift or unwilling to move. She explores with a rare delicacy the play of emotions one person may experience in an hour or a lifetime, often the petty annoyance, subtle jealousies, and self-involvement. While, for me, The Summer Book remains her masterpiece, it is well worth finding her short stories which are a group of elegant, compact revelations.

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