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On Tove Jansson with Ali Smith and Thomas Teal, RSL

May 21, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

Best remembered and much loved for her Moomin characters, the Finnish writer Tove Jansson (1914-2001) is now also being celebrated for her novels and short stories for adults. But where do books for children end, and books for adults begin? Can an author’s writing invite the states of adulthood and childhood to merge and address each other? Jansson was inspired to create the Moomintroll after an argument about the philosopher Immanuel Kant; her luminous classic novel for adults,The Summer Book, explores the relationship between a six-year-old girl and her aging grandmother. Ali Smith is a prizewinning writer of fiction and non-fiction, and has written introductions to several of Jansson’s books for adults. Thomas Teal, who spent time with Jansson on her summer island in the 1970s, has translated six of her books, including The Summer Book and The True Deceiver.  In 2009 he won the Bernard Shaw Prize for his translation of her novel Fair Play. To celebrate Jansson’s centenary, in a discussion chaired by Kate Kellaway, Smith and Teal look at her life and work, and the effect her characters have on readers of all ages.

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May 21, 2014 7:00 pm
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Royal Society of Literature
020 7845 4678


Courtauld Institute of Art
020 7872 0220
Somerset House, Strand London , WC2R 0RN United Kingdom
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