A New York Review Books Original
Winner of the 2009 Bernard Shaw Prize for Translation
Fair Play is the type of love story that is rarely told, a revelatory depiction of contentment, hard-won and exhilarating.
Mari is a writer and Jonna is an artist, and they live at opposite ends of a big apartment building, their studios connected by a long attic passageway. They have argued, worked, and laughed together for decades. Yet they’ve never really stopped taking each other by surprise. Fair Play shows us Mari and Jona’s intertwined lives as they watch Fassbinder films and Westerns, critique each other’s work, spend time on a solitary island (recognizable to readers of Jansson’s The Summer Book), travel through the American Southwest, and turn life into nothing less than art.
About the Author
Tove Jansson (1914 2001) was born in Helsinki and spent much of her life in Finland. She is the author of the Moomin books, including "Comet in Moominland" and "Finn Family Moomintroll". Born into an artistic family her father was a sculptor and her mother was a graphic designer and illustrator Jansson studied at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, and L Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In addition to her Moomin books, she also wrote several novels, drew comic strips and worked as a painter and illustrator. In 1966, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her body of work. Jansson had a studio in Helsinki but spent most of her time at her home on a small island called Klovharu.
Tove Jansson (1914--2001) was a Finnish novelist, painter, illustrator, and comic-strip author. She is best known as the creator of the Moomin children's stories, which have been published in thirty-five languages and adapted for theater, opera, film, radio, and television. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1966, the Prize of the Swedish Academy in 1972, and the Pro Finlandia medal in 1976. "The Summer Book "is one of ten novels she wrote for adults.
Kathryn Davis has received the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the author of many novels, including "Labrador,"" The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf,"" Hell,"" The Walking Tour,"" The Thin Place,"" "and "Versailles. "In 2006 she received the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis and lives in Vermont.
Thomas Teal is the translator many books, including "Sun City" by Tove Jansson and "Peasants and Masters" by Theodor Kallifatides.
ALI SMITH has written six works of fiction including "Hotel World", which was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award. Born in Inverness, Scotland, she now lives in Cambridge, England.
“This novel is about creativity from the very start—about how to take a day . . . and make it really new and fresh, no matter what age you are, what life you’re in.” —Ali Smith, From the Introduction
“Jansson reveals the ambiguities in every encounter. There are no easy moral judgments. Only the very ﬁnest art can show us so many shades of psychological nuance, yet make them visible with such clarity.” —Damion Searls, Harper’s
“Jansson is . . . content to let the narrative almost disappear into what Hegel called the ‘prose of the world’: the beauty of the day-to-day. It is here . . . that we find the true meaning of the novel.” —Andreas Campomar, The Times Literary Supplement
“A book about love—tender, eccentric and fiercely independent. It feels a privilege to read it.” —Esther Freud