Fair Play, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


"So what can happen when Tove Jansson turns her attention to her own favourite subjects, love and work, in the form of this novel about two women, lifelong partners and friends?

Expect something philosophically calm - and discreetly radical.

Its publication is cause for huge celebration."(Ali Smith, from her Introduction to Fair Play) What mattered most to Tove Jansson, she explained in her eighties, was work and love, a sentiment she echoes in this tender and original novel.

Translated for the first time into English, Fair Play portrays a love between two older women, a writer and artist, as they work side-by-side in their Helsinki studios, travel together and share summers on a remote island.

In the generosity and respect they show each other and the many small shifts they make to accommodate each other's creativity we are shown a relationship both heartening and truly progressive.


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

As in The Summer Book, here are short chapters, vignettes really, telling about two women artists, about their love and friendship, work, life. Nothing spectacular but somehow the stories stick.

Review by

Iris raves about Jansson (as do many others). I just didn't get it! This was a novel of episodes - not really short stories, because it was always the same characters, but very short episodes over the lives of two women. To call the prose spare or sparse does it, in my opinion, a credit - it was not only laconic, it was barely there at all! Jansson clearly has a talent for capturing a character with few words - tiny actions and reactions, rather than long descriptions. My issue was mostly a lack of plot, or progression - time progressed, but nothing really changed between the characters.

Review by

How long do I have to wait to be old and making work and living on an island?