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A Winter Book by Tove Jansson

A Winter Book (1998)

by Tove Jansson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4531334,557 (3.86)40
  1. 00
    The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Although primarily aimed at children this short story collection is worth reading also for adults.

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» See also 40 mentions

English (12)  Italian (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Jansson apparently came to adult fiction late. She was in her fifties before she wrote her first novel that wasn’t children’s fiction. She also wrote a number of short stories. A Winter Book is cobbled together from a previous collection – not translated into English, IIRC – and a number of uncollected stories. They’re grouped thematically, and many deal with childhood in some way. Except for the ones that are about old age. Those who have read other fiction by Jansson will know what to expect. She’s very good at describing the world she knew – pretty much every story she wrote drew on her own life. So we have stories set in Finnish winters, and stories that take place among the islands during the summer. It’s all very smooth and effortless storytelling, although some stories are more interesting than others. And yet, the collection itself doesn’t exactly linger. I read it more than a month ago and I’d be hard-pressed to describe any of the stories in it. Perhaps it’s that smoothness. Worth reading, though I suspect fans will get more out of it than I did. ( )
  iansales | Jan 9, 2019 |
A Finnish Childhood
By sally tarbox on 28 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
A lovely selection of Jansson's short stories: a lot are recollections of her childhood with her artist parents- winters in Helsinki and summers on the offshore islands that feature in her better-known 'Summer Book'. I loved 'Snow'-her impressions of the thick all-encompassing snow; and 'the Iceberg' where she throws her torch into the hollow of the berg.
Later adult stories include 'the Squirrel' where a strange and isolated woman living on an island strikes up a love-hate relationship with a squirrel, and finally 'Taking Leave' where she and her partner finally have to leave the island as they're getting older.
A number of b/w photos throughout give added interest. ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
This is a lovely book of short stories, many of which are deeply reflective about both youth and old age. Throughout my time reading this book, I had a hard time discerning what was autobiographical and and what was pure fiction. Nonetheless, Tove Jansson does an excellent job probing the trials of youth, old age, and fame. While not as good as her more famous Summer Book, this is a nice addition to any library and will give further depth to understanding Ms. Jansson.

For readers looking for particularly good stories, the highly-recommended story, "The Iceberg", is a must. The language is lyrical and at times left me tingly. I also really enjoyed "The Boat and Me" and "The Squirrel", which seem to do a fine job representing both adolescence and old age, respectively. ( )
  mmcdwl | Oct 2, 2015 |

Four stars because it's Tove and her writing is brilliant, though I have other collections with these stories in! ( )
  kaggsy | May 26, 2015 |

Lovely collection of Jansson's short fiction, arranged loosely by age of the protagonist who in most cases clearly reflects Jansson herself. There's a vivid picture of her war with a squirrel on her island; there are poignant letters sent to the author by Moomin fans; there are vignettes of family life. It's all very absorbing as we celebrate her centenary. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tove Janssonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hart, KingsleyTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mazzarella, SilvesterTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDuff, DavidTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cottrell Boyce, FrankAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freud, EstherAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansson, LarsPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansson, Per-OlovPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lidman, AlfPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pullman, PhilipAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, AliIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was lying between the coal dump and the goods wagons under some bits of wood and it was a miracle that no-one had found it before me.
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Drawn from youth and older age, and spanning most of the 20th century, this translated selection provides a showcase of Tove Jansson's prose, scattered with insights and home truths.

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