Sort of Books, 1999 (paperback, 240 pages)
“So what can happen when Tove Jansson turns her attention to her own favourite subjects, love and work, in the form of this novel about two women, lifelong partners and friends? Expect something philosophically calm – and discreetly radical. Its publication is cause for huge celebration.”(Ali Smith, from her Introduction to Fair Play) What mattered most to Tove Jansson, she explained in her eighties, was work and love, a sentiment she echoes in this tender and original novel. Translated for the first time into English, Fair Play portrays a love between two older women, a writer and artist, as they work side-by-side in their Helsinki studios, travel together and share summers on a remote island.
In the generosity and respect they show each other and the many small shifts they make to accommodate each other’s creativity we are shown a relationship both heartening and truly progressive.