A Winter Book : Selected Stories, Paperback Book

A Winter Book : Selected Stories Paperback

4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Following the widely acclaimed and bestselling The Summer Book, here is A Winter Book collection of some of Tove Jansson's best loved and most famous stories.

Drawn from youth and older age, and spanning most of the twentieth century, this newly translated selection provides a thrilling showcase of the great Finnish writer's prose, scattered with insights and home truths.

It has been selected and is introduced by Ali Smith. A Winter Book features 13 stories from Tove Jansson's first book for adults,The Sculptor's Daughter (1968) plus 7 of her most cherished later stories (from 1971 to 1996), translated into English and published here for the first time.




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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Hooray for Tove Jansson, queen of the north and friend of all small people everywhere. A magnificent collection of short stories about states of innocence, the hard work of living, things that glitter and the difficulties of communication. Absolutely sparkling.

Review by

A Winter Book is a collection of stories from Jansson's autobiographical The Sculptor's Daughter (Bildhuggarens Dotter) and other collections not translated into English. I wish New York Review of Books or some other publisher would reprint The Sculptor's Daughter as it is impossible to get a copy in English. The stories are beautifully written although here we have excerpts rather than complete works.

Review by

Tove Jansson’s stories beguile. Most are set on or near the islands off the coast of Finland. Most are quasi-autobiographical. Raised in a family of artists, she knows the pleasures and the effort involved in artistic achievement. The most damning accusation the small child stand-in for Jansson can think of in one of the stories is to call the woman she dislikes an amateur. That challenge for authenticity, for aesthetic realism, for the right word or gesture, persists across the 30 years from which these stories are drawn.Some, such as “The Stone”, capture the intensity of a child’s perception and the importance of a child’s objectives. Others, such as “Flying”, partake of a magic-realist touch, but without any posturing. Always, even in “Flying” the stories are grounded in a concrete, practical, love of the physical—the sea, the wind, the small beauties found on a Nordic islet, the presence of mother and father, the games a solitary child plays to amuse herself. Of course, across so many years one expects to see a wide range of stories, and this collection does not disappoint. “The Squirrel” and “The Boat and Me” stand out as remarkable achievements, I think. But all of the stories here are well worth a read, a welcome addition to the writings of Jansson available in English.