The True Deceiver

The True Deceiver

A New York Review Books Original

The lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell others—is the subject of this, Tove Jansson’s most unnerving and unpredictable novel. Here Jansson takes a darker look at the subjects that animate the best of her work, from her sensitive tale of island life, The Summer Book, to her famous Moomin stories: solitude and community, art and life, love and hate.
 
Snow has been falling on the village all winter long. It covers windows and piles up in front of doors. The sun rises late and sets early, and even during the day there is little to do but trade tales. This year everybody’s talking about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives with her simpleminded brother and a dog she refuses to name. She has no use for the white lies that smooth social intercourse, and she can see straight to the core of any problem. Anna, an elderly children’s book illustrator, appears to be Katri’s opposite: a respected member of the village, if an aloof one. Anna lives in a large empty house, venturing out in the spring to paint exquisitely detailed forest scenes. But Anna has something Katri wants, and to get it Katri will take control of Anna’s life and livelihood. By the time spring arrives, the two women are caught in a conflict of ideals that threatens to strip them of their most cherished illusions.

Title:The True Deceiver
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781590173299
Format Type:

    The True Deceiver Reviews

  • Eddie Watkins

    I like Tove Jansson’s brand of wisdom. It’s not a “hard won” wisdom of the sort that has grown from the rubble of cynicism, betrayal, and defeat. It’s a clear-eyed wisdom that has never lost...

  • Hugh

    Tove Jansson is probably still best known as the creator of the Moomins. Having read The Summer Book some years ago, I was already aware that she was also a talented and perceptive writer for adults. ...

  • Mariel

    The True Deceiver would have been a good book about living with a face you can accept yourself with if it didn't tell the reader what the lies and the truths were instead of ever actually living with ...

  • Tony

    Early, in this little gem of a novel, Katri Kling and Edvard Liljeberg have this dialogue:"I can take the mail up to Miss Aemelin," she said."I can't let you do that; it's the postman's job to deliver...

  • lark benobi

    This is a perfect novel in the same way The Great Gatsby is a perfect novel. Not in the sense of "best" novel--but, in that it perfectly executes its intention, its reason to exist as a novel. Instead...

  • RandomAnthony

    Tove Jannson's The True Deciever is a curious, unsettling book. Katri Kling speaks the truth with unceremonious judgment. Anna Armelin illustrates children's books, focusing on the forest floor moss a...

  • David

    You know how sometimes books have characters that are so preposterously symbolic that they fail to resemble normal human beings? Meet Katri Kling, the yellow-eyed outcast at the center of Jansson's Th...

  • Jill

    The True Deceiver may well be a perfect book. Not a word is wasted and nothing is dumbed down: it is, in turns, complex and subtle, psychologically astute, unsettling, and controlled.The language can ...

  • Teresa

    3.5Anna is a popular illustrator whose flowered rabbits have made her famous. In hibernation during the winter, once spring arrives, she paints, with realism, the ground of the forest around her home....

  • Joy Stephenson

    I’ve got mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I found it compelling to read and stayed up late to finish it, because I couldn’t put it down. I especially liked the spare style of writin...