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Sun City

Sun City

by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal

Regular price $16.95
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In works like The Summer Book and The True Deceiver, as well as in her many short stories, Tove Jansson was drawn again and again to the everyday life of the aged. Not as a group apart, but as full-blooded people, with as many jealousies, urges, and joys as any other group. And so it is no wonder that in her travels through America in the 1970s, she became fascinated with what was then a particularly American institution, the retirement home, where older people live in their particular tightly knit worlds. She describes this world through several of its residents and employees making their way in an America riven by cultural divides and facing the death of its dream, as they confront their own mortality.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681378657
Pages: 224
Publication Date:


Her style is not at all 'poetic'—quite the contrary. It is prose of the very highest order; it is pure prose. Through its quiet clarity we see unreachable depths, threatening darkness, promised treasures.
—Ursula K. LeGuin, The Guardian

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

These are complicated people and Jansson demonstrates, with compassion and irony, how difficult it is for them to maintain their integrity in the face of indignities of growing old.... Her perceptions are crystalline and correct. Children live in the future, and the old live in the past, and Jansson understands this very well. Death is always in the air of Sun City—but this is a book of life and hope.
Chicago Daily News

That there can still be as-yet untranslated fiction by Jansson is simultaneously an aberration and a delight, like finding buried treasure, especially when the translator is as well suited to her resonant, minimal style as Thomas Teal…. Jansson's own texts are always honed to perfection, given a lightness that proves deceptive, an ease of surface which, like ice over a lake, allows you rare access to something a lot riskier and more profound.
—Ali Smith, The Guardian

Jansson’s sentences are imbued with clarity and mystery in equal measure.
—Matthew Jakubowski, The Kenyon Review

She infuses the awesome mystery of existence, its mix of joy, sorrow, wonder, and pain, into even her most buoyant writing and illustrations.
—Evan James, The Yale Review

Jansson has a knack for packing a good deal of wit and wisdom into ostensibly simple tales.
—Olivia Laing, The Guardian

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