books > Art in Nature


208pp Original paperback with flaps
ISBN: 978-0956308696
Translated from Swedish by Thomas Teal


Art in Nature

by tove jansson

A ‘new’ Tove Jansson, published for the first time in English. Tales of obsession and ambition are revealed and sparkle ‘like buried treasure’

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.


“A brilliantly realised evocation of a place blanketed by snow written in a prose that is never flat or dull.”  Katie Law, Evening Standard

“A delightfully dark winter’s tale … the novel tracks an intense relationship between two strong-minded women.” Emma Hagestadt, Independent

“Jansson’s tale deserves as wide a readership as her beloved children’s books featuring the Moomins.” Kamila Shamsie, Guardian (Books of the Year)

“The most beautiful and satisfying novel I have read this year.” Ursula K Le Guin, Guardian (Books of the Year)

That there can still be as-yet untranslated fiction by Jansson is simultaneously an aberration and a delight, like finding buried treasure.
— Ali Smith

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