‘The Stone’ by Tove Jansson, translated by Kingsley Hart

Selecting these stories has made me aware that my favourite short fiction tends to be either gothic or magical. Finnish. Jansson is best known for her tales about the Moomins. This piece is set in a Helsinki that has all the strangeness of Moomin Valley.  It’s an apparently simple story about how a child finds a precious object and struggles to take it home with her. Jansson’s writing is precise, yet mysterious. It’s as if the stone though factually described, is much more than a stone. The final loss of this object is felt keenly by both narrator and reader.

From A Winter Book, Sort of Books, 2006, also available in Sculptor’s Daughter, Sort of Books, 2013

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