Tove Jansson biography

Way back in February of 2005, I wrote about trolls and my love of folk legends, myths and fairy tales especially anything Finnish. In that context came up the name of internationally well-known Tove Jansson and her Moomintrolls. There were some interesting conversations in the comments that I’ve enjoyed rereading just now.

Recently, Finland’s biggest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat (in English) published an interesting article, Dedicating 25 years to Tove Jansson.

It is about Jansson’s biographer Boel Westin and how her relationship to the author began first as a child reader, then as researcher for her doctoral thesis in 1988 when she met and became friends with Jansson. Westin went on to do an extensive biography, “Ord, liv, bild” (“Word, Life, Image”) now appearing in Sweden and in Finland. The book, which is a rich and tantalising depiction of both Jansson and the cultural history of Finland, will appear next year translated into Finnish by Jaana Nikula. If you are a fan of Tove Jansson’s books, do read the article which gives us some interesting perspectives on Jansson and her biographer.

I’m really looking forward to that Finnish translation and hope that an English one will soon come out as well.

It’s been fascinating for me to have learned over time how much academic interest Tove Jansson has attracted. For example, when I met author, college instructor and blogger Kate Laity of Wombat’s World, I was surprised to find out that she has also studied Tove Jansson and just recently attended a conference on her.

Addendum May 21.07: Dem, comic strip artist extraordinaire at the Guild of Ghostwriters has shared, in the comments below, a fabulous link to the Drawn & Quarterly site’s previews of their recently published book of Jansson’s comic strips. Enjoy! Until Dem told me, I didn’t know Drawn & Quarterly is Canadian!! And they even have a blog. Thanks, Dem!

Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip – Book One, of a series, has now been added to my shopping list, thanks to this reminder.

May 20, 2007 in Books, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Folk Legends & Myths by Marja-Leena