“when I read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan tetralogy, it was an easy, natural inhaling. I breathed those books as if I had been in a polluted street and was ascending a staircase to clearer air. It wasn’t just the literary quality of the books that drew me in. It was the length and scope of them, the sense of a life lived across more than a thousand pages. When I read Proust, I breathed deep — long, meditative inhales — then returned for half-breaths to be sure the scent of hawthorn had truly penetrated my senses. The two writers’ projects are distinct: Proust meanders through Paris, flâneur-like, while Ferrante arrows across Naples with purpose. Her sense of momentum never lets up, but Proust never has much momentum in the first place. By contrast, when I read Karl Ove Knausgaard, I breathed without much attention. The intensity of his self-study leaves little oxygen for me.
And then there’s Norwegian author Carl Frode Tiller. When I read his Encircling novels, my breath kept halting and restarting as if I were being chased. Or was the one doing the chasing. Because the Encircling trilogy — only the first two books have been published in English — is a kind of chase. It pelts across the landscape of memory, around obstacles of lies, secrets, and vanity. Encircling’s meticulous construction and exhaustive psychological exegesis make it unfit to be called a proper mystery (although that is the section in which I found it in a Scottish bookstore), but it is, nonetheless, an incomparable intellectual escapade.
Two mesmerising archive films taken by Tuulikki Pietilä of Tove and ‘Tuuti’ on their summer island, and travelling in Europe were shown by Club des Femmes, followed by an advance reading of a selection of letters sent by Tove to her closest friend and confidante, Eva Konikova, and to Tuulikki between 1941 and 1956. Below Ellie Kendrick (Meera from Game of Thrones) pauses in her reading of the letters while Sophia Jansson talks to Nicolette Jones from The Times about her aunt’s life and relationships. (Letters from Tove, edited by Boel Westin and Helen Svensson; trans by Sarah Death will be published by Sort of Books in autumn 2019).
Sort of Books are proud to be part of a unique collaboration between The Moomins, Oxfam and Waterstones, with a book to change lives, The Invisible Child. This collectable edition contains two of Tove Jansson’s best loved Moomin stories with a specially commissioned Moomin gallery compiled by bestselling children’s author Philip Ardagh. A truly beautiful volume, it will raise money for projects that fight inequality and help women and girls everywhere escape from poverty, abuse and neglect.
Available exclusively through Waterstones, Oxfam and the Moomins, all the proceeds of every £4.99 copy of The Invisible Childsold will support more women and girls around the world to use their voice and fulfil their potential.
In Tove Jansson’s much loved short story, The Invisible Child, the isolated Ninny is helped to regain her voice and take her rightful place in the world using a simple Moomin recipe. She is welcomed into the Moomin family and treated with equality and respect.
This is one of the most touching of all Moomin stories and is paired in this unique gift book with The Fir Tree, the Moomins’ gloriously unselfish take on Christmas. Alongside these two classic stories, which are taken from Jansson’s 1962 short story collection Tales of Moominvalley, this gift edition also includes an exclusive Moomin Gallery, featuring the characters of Moominvalley, compiled by Philip Ardagh.
Available in all branches of Waterstones, Oxfam and Moomin shops.
Our amazing news is that we will be launching Special Collectors’ Editions of the original Moomin novels in October 2017: the first four titles to coincide with the opening of the Tove Jansson retrospective at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Four further titles will follow in Spring and Winter 2018.
The titles will be lovingly restored to their original 1950s and 60s designs, with stunning full colour wrap-around art paper jackets, and Finn Family Moomintroll – the most popular Moomin title – will include the book’s original fold-out map of Moominvalley.
“Our aim is to recreate the books that the first Moomin readers treasured,” says Sort Of publisher Nat Jansz. “There’s a touch of Moomin mania at the moment, with the sell-out Adventures in Moominland show at the Southbank, a new animation series in development, and beautiful Moomin merchandise wherever you look. But these eight Moomin novels are at the heart of everything. They are philosophically wise, packed with adventure and have enduring values of non-materialism, love of nature and the imperative of hospitality.”
The first four titles will be Finn Family Moomintroll, Comet in Moominland, Exploits of Moominpappa and Moominland Midwinter. Publication date is 5th October 2017.
Climb into and get lost inside the eccentric world of Moominland this winter as The Southbank Centre explores the internationally renowned Moomin stories through the life of their author, Tove Jansson. Open until April 2017.
Filmed live at London’s Vout-O-Reenees, ‘the club for the surrealistically distinguished’, Sort of author/artist, Simon Bill discusses the finer points of Art and the Brain with art critic, Matthew Collings.
Artist/author Simon Bill launches his new title, Artist in Residence, at Libreria‘s hip new venue in Hoxton in discussion with art critic, author and broadcaster Matthew Collings. Can an author satirise the contemporary art scene without fear of being labelled a philistine? Yes. If he’s a highly regarded abstract expressionist painter, perceptive enough to skewer the vanities and absurdities of the profession and equipped with the comic talents of a latter day Evelyn Waugh. Bill’s advice of how to get ahead at art school, segueing into an imagined installation involving kayaks filled with golden syrup, was both salutary and a hoot.
Simon Bill and Matthew Collings take a cerebral view of contemporary art at Libreria, Hoxton.