Tove Jansson: Life, Art, Words

Translated from Swedish by Silvester Mazzarella

The Finnish-Swedish writer and artist Tove Jansson achieved worldwide fame as the creator of the Moomin stories, written between 1945 and 1970 and still in print in more than twenty languages. However, the Moomins were only a part of her prolific output. Already admired in Nordic art circles as a painter, cartoonist and illustrator, she would go on to write a series of classic novels and short stories. She remains Scandinavia’s best loved author.

Tove Jansson’s work reflected the tenets of her life. Love and work was the motto she chose for herself and her approach to both was joyful and uncompromising. If her relationships with men were shaded by an ambivalence towards marriage, those with women came as a revelation, especially the love and companionship she found with her long-time partner, the artist Tuulikki Pietilä, with whom she shared her solitary island of Klovharu.

In this meticulously researched, authorised biography, Boel Westin draws together the many threads of Jansson’s life: from the studies interrupted to help her family; the bleak  war years and her emergence as an artist with a studio of her own; to the years of Moomin-mania, and later novel writing. Based on numerous conversations with Tove, and unprecedented access to her journals, letters and personal archives, Tove Jansson: Life, Art, Words offers a rare and privileged insight into the world of a writer whom Philip Pullman described, simply, as ‘a genius’.

576pp Royal hardback: 180 illustrations. 24pp colour: £25.00
ISBN: 978-1-908745-45-3
eISBN: 978-1-908745-46-0

Border Run

LOOKING FOR A NEW EXPERIENCE? TRY MURDER …

Bored of the ‘mango smoothie’ trail and keen to spice up their Facebook albums, and maybe their sex lives, Jake and Will take a tour into China’s jungle borderland with Burma. Their guide, however, has his own agenda and gradually the two gap-year students slip into a nightmarish spiral of murder and moral decay, their chance of survival determined by a game of hide and seek played out with deadly crossbows.

A fast paced, adrenaline ride of a novel: Deliverance meets Lord of the Flies.

“Inspired writing. Suspense that never loses its grip.”
Elmore Leonardon Bad Traffic

£7.99
Fiction
A Sort Of Book
ISBN: 978-0-9563086-5-8

Sightlines

The outer world flew open like a door, and I wondered, what is it that we’re just not seeing?

Five years after Findings broke the mould of nature writing, Kathleen Jamie subtly shifts our focus on landscape and the living world, daring us to look again at the ‘natural’, the remote and the human-made. She offers us the closest of perspectives and the most distant, too: from vistas of cells beneath a hospital microscope, or the pores of a whale’s jawbone under restoration, to satellites rising over a Scottish island, or the aurora borealis lighting up an iceberg-strewn sea. We encounter killer whales circling below cliffs, noisy colonies of breeding gannets, and paintings deep in caves.

Written with precision, delicacy and personal recollection, Sightlines invites us to pause and look afresh at our surroundings.

Reviews

The Sunday Times: Helen Davies

“A haunting new ­collection from one of our finest nature writers … There are piquant descriptions that stop you in your tracks — seals singing “loopy psalms of deliverance”; icebergs looking “as lifeless as cathedral spires” and smelling “of nothing but colossal, witless indifference” — but the real power of the writing derives from the steady increment of detail and the honesty of her responses to the natural world…. Throughout, she displays an enviable capacity to simply sit still, and — through the sheer force of her descriptions — render “nothingness” into something quite spellbinding. Her style is part travelogue, part memoir, part prose-poem and also part reportage: she befriends the right sort of interesting people, from the man in a lane near her Fife home, to skippers on the small boats that help her reach remote outposts.” Helen Davies, Sunday Times

The Sunday Telegraph: Philip Hoare

“Kathleen Jamie, the Scottish poet, has written a book that transcends the defitnition of nature study … Sightlines is a work of intense purity and quiet genius and we’re lucky to have it.”

The Saturday Telegraph: Adam Nicholson   
“Written in a way that nature-and-travel books are rarely written; coming to moments of poetic precision and acuity, but always set in a frame of ordinariness; repeatedly able, as she says of herself, to relish “the sense of carefully revealing something authentic . . . The whole book is an experiment in honesty.”

The Scotsman: Stuart Kelly 
“Exquisite  . . . There is such a precision, of both thinking and seeing, displayed in these works that you would have to be a very obtuse kind of reader not to realise that Jamie is a poet.”

256pp Original paperback : £8.99
ISBN: 978-0956308665