Notes from an Island



In her late 40’s, Tove Jansson, helped by a maverick seaman called Brunström, raced to build a cabin on an almost barren outcrop of rock in the Gulf of Finland. The island was Klovharun, and for 26 summers Tove and her life partner, the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä (‘Tooti’), retreated there to live, paint and write, energised by the solitude and shifting seascapes.
Notes from an Island, published in English for the first time, is both a memoir and homage to the island the two women loved and relinquished only when pressed by age. It is also a unique collaboration between two artists. Tove’s spare, precise prose – diary entries, vignettes and extracts from Brunström’s log – frame the subtle washes and aquatints created by Tooti. Together they form a work of meditative beauty.

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