Fair Play: A Novel

Front Cover
Sort Of, 2007 - Female friendship - 127 pages
5 Reviews
"So what can happen when Tove Jansson turns her attention to her own favourite subjects, love and work, in the form of this novel about two women, lifelong partners and friends? Expect something philosophically calm - and discreetly radical. Its publication is cause for huge celebration."(Ali Smith, from her Introduction to Fair Play) What mattered most to Tove Jansson, she explained in her eighties, was work and love, a sentiment she echoes in this tender and original novel. Translated for the first time into English, Fair Play portrays a love between two older women, a writer and artist, as they work side-by-side in their Helsinki studios, travel together and share summers on a remote island. In the generosity and respect they show each other and the many small shifts they make to accommodate each other's creativity we are shown a relationship both heartening and truly progressive.

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Review: Fair Play

User Review  - jennifer - Goodreads

Meditation on art, love, and friendship. Subtle, vignettes. It has the kind of imagery and emotional paintwork that will haunt you deja vu-style later. I'm already calling it. Read full review

Review: Fair Play

User Review  - Sally Whitehead - Goodreads

A short unassuming read, with hidden depths. This was an intriguing read rather than a satisfying one. Laced with nordic melancholy - it evokes mood as opposed to narrative storytelling. Read full review


Introduction by Ali Smith

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About the author (2007)

The writer and artist Tove Jansson (1914-2001) is best known as the creator of the Moomin children's stories, which have been published in 35 languages. The Summer Book was one of ten novels she wrote for adults. It is regarded as a modern classic throughout Scandinavia.

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