The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories
New York Review Books
Tove Jansson
“The Listener”
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“The Listener” is from Tove Jansson’s THE WOMAN WHO BORROWED MEMORIES: SELECTED STORIES (New York Review Books, 2014), a collection from one of Finland’s prominent post-War writers.  This career-spanning collection of short stories returns to the settings of Jansson’s familiar work and also delves deeper into themes of travel, artistic creation, and the conundrum of living among humans as flawed as oneself.  Jansson was a master of brevity, unfolding worlds at a touch.

 

Jansson’s work has been widely praised:

 

[Jansson] writes about these things with sparkling wit and a quirky sensibility.

–The New Yorker

 

Jansson’s short stories are as yet unacknowledged small masterworks.

–Ali Smith

 

It could be said that everything she wrote is, in one way or another, about the creative interactions between art and reality or art and nature.

–The Guardian

 

Twenty-six spare, slyly off-kilter stories…consider loneliness, family, aging and creative experience, sometimes all together…Windows crop up often in Jansson’s stories, reflecting the transparent wall between her lonely characters and their worlds but also Jansson’s expression of intangible thoughts and feelings with lucent prose.

–Kirkus Reviews

 

The unique Swedish-speaking Finnish author Jansson, a daughter of two artists, continues to dazzle in singular narratives filtered through her sharp wit and beguiling imagination.

–Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

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