books > The True Deceiver


202pp Original paperback with flaps
ISBN: 978-0954899578
Translated from Swedish by Thomas Teal


The True Deceiver

by tove jansson

The True Deceiver glitters with the kind of sharpness that might just cut you … It is one of Jansson’s most deceptively quiet, most astonishing compositions.”  Ali Smith

In the deep winter snows of a Swedish hamlet, a strange young woman fakes a break-in at the house of an elderly artist in order to persuade her that she needs companionship. But what does she hope to gain by doing this? And who ultimately is deceiving whom? In this portrayal of two women encircling each other with truth and lies, nothing can be taken for granted. By the time the snow thaws, both their lives will have changed irrevocably.


“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)

I loved this book. It’s cool in both senses of the word, understated yet exciting ... the characters still haunt me.
— Ruth Rendell

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