In Helsinki in 1914 Tove Jansson was born into a family who were doubly outsiders: they were part of Finland's Swedish-speaking minority and they were artists, her father a sculptor, her mother a graphic designer, her brothers Per and Lars would become a photographer and a cartoonist. Depressed by the war in 1945, the young painter Tove yearned for a happy naivete, creating a clan of round white trolls called Moomins who live a carefree, bohemian life in Finland's valley forests. The first book was ignored, the next two were sensations. Altogether Jansson's nine chapter books and five picture books have spawned at least six different tv series in Europe, Russia, and Japan, a long-running British comic strip, a theme park, an opera, and many movies, the most recent of which debuted at Cannes in 2010. That film, Moomins and the Comet Chase, features music by Bjork who is a lifelong fan of the creatures' funny/sad innocence and mischief, their anti-authority non-conformity, and their harmony with nature. The Moomin character Tooticky is based on Jansson's partner Tuulikki Pietilä, a graphic artist. They were together at least fifty years and their relationship is the heart of the brief, elegant Fair Play [Kindle]. Her finest fiction is an incandescent novel called The Summer Book [Kindle], which will transport you to an extreme northern island marked by the midnight sun and lashing storms. You really must also read her deeper, wintry work, The True Deceiver [Kindle]. She also wrote six collections of short stories, including Art in Nature and Traveling Light, or get the twenty tales in A Winter Book: Selected Stories by Tove Jansson out of print and available for less than a dollar. Despite mountains of Moomin money, Jansson never wavered from her belief in simplicity. She and Tuulikki spent much of their time in this one-room cabin in the remote Pellinki islands. She died at 86 in 2001. Finally, finally coming November 7 is an English translation of her book that used to be fiction but is now being released as Sculptor's Daughter: A Childhood Memoir. See her beautiful website.