Published in 1968 | Audiobook read by the author herself | Four feathers
There’s an English translation called “The Sculptor’s Daughter”
This is Tove Jansson’s autobiography, told in short story-like chapters that each deal with a different episode of her childhood.
Bildhuggarens Dotter was wonderful, just as all of Tove’s books are. What I have come to appreciate about her stories is especially the language and the characterization, and her ability to tell a story from the viewpoint of a child without it being influenced by an adult eye. I would love to be able to write like that.
However, I have come to the conclusion that listening to the audiobooks probably isn’t the best way to read Tove’s stories. I like that she narrates them herself (her accent in particular is lovely), but these stories need to be properly read. As a reader, you need to be able to go back and reread passages, and it would probably be good to have the possibility to take more of a break between chapters or stories to actually let whatever you just read sink in. Tove’s writing is best that way.
A passage from this book that has stuck with me is the fact that her family had a pet monkey when she was a kid. On the one hand, I’m not entirely surprised, but who has a pet monkey?? It is a pretty funny detail.
If you haven’t already, you should definitely read this as soon as possible, especially if you already have some prior knowledge of the author.