To start Women in Translation Month this year, I return to one of my favourite authors, whose birthday is next week. Tove Jansson never fails to make you think.
This is about a woman artist who cannot escape her own creations; are those little rabbits Moomins in disguise?
But it is also about how well you can ever know your neighbours, even in a small community where everyone knows everyone else’s business, has decided whether you fit in and what they think about you a long time ago.
And it is also about how well you can ever know someone else, even when they live with you and seem to want to make life easier for you at every turn:
It starts simply enough; Katri and her brother Mats move in with Anna, the artist. But this is where it gets complicated – who is helping whom, who is really benefiting from it, and what are they hiding from each other?
The True Deceiver, translated by Thomas Teal, is introduced by another of my favourite authors, Ali Smith; she describes it as like “discovering buried treasure.” Which is what Women in Translation Month is all about…