© Tove Jansson (original cover art for The True Deceiver)
It had been snowing along the coast for a month. As far back as anyone could remember, there hadn’t been this much snow, this steady snow piling up against doors and windows and weighing down roofs and never stopping even for an hour. Paths filled with snow as quickly as they were shovelled out. The cold made work in the boat sheds impossible. People woke up late because there was no longer any morning. The village lay soundless under untouched snow until the children were let out and dug tunnels and caves and shrieked and were left to themselves. They were forbidden to throw snowballs at Katri Kling’s window but did it anyway. She lived in the attic over the storekeeper’s shop with her brother Mats and her big dog that had no name. Before dawn she would go out with the dog and walk down the village street towards the lighthouse on the point. She did this every morning, and people starting to get up would say, It’s still snowing and there she goes again with her dog and she’s wearing her wolfskin collar. It’s unnatural not giving your dog a name; all dogs should have names.
A passage from the opening of Tove Jansson's The True Deceiver, posted in honor of the record snowfall we've had in New York this winter, as well as the inclusion of the novel in this year's longlist for the Best Translated Book Award, (one of two NYRB Classics that made the cut—the other is Albert Cossery's The Jokers).