‘Lost’ Moomin story resurfaces after 37 years – the final Moomin tale makes its English language debut alongside other rare Tove Jansson stories at ArchWay With Words Literary Festival on Monday 25th September 2017.
Tove Jansson’s last Moomin novel, Moominvalley in November, was published in 1970. A haunting tale of absence, the Moomins themselves never appear; the book ends with the central character, Toft, seeing the light of their boat appear on the horizon. But the story didn’t end there. Villain in the Moominhouse (Skurken i Muminhuset) told a final story of the Moomins and their friends. Penned by Tove Jansson, this last story was accompanied by photographs taken by brother Per Olov Jansson of the complex model of the Moominhouse built by Tove Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä.
But Villain in the Moominhouse has never been published in English, and its story and images have gone largely unheard and unseen outside of the Nordic countries. That will all change on September 25th when Tove Jansson historian Ant O’Neill will read his original translation of this lost gem, with projections of new scans of the original slides. As an added bonus, he will also be reading and showing his translations of Tove Jansson’s very earliest works, Sara and Pelle and Neptune’s Children (Sara och Pelle och neckens bläckfiskar) and Prickina and Fabian’s Adventure (Prickina och Fabians äventyr). Dating back to 1933 and 1929 respectively, these are amongst the first picture stories created by the then-teenage Tove Jansson and aside from being engaging stories in their own right, they provide a fascinating insight into the genesis of one of the greatest talents of the 20th Century.