Johanna Venho
Publication date
Format info
280 pages

The Autumn Book


A novel about Tove Jansson.

An island, the sea, a mist-grey and rush-yellow autumn. If you want to get from one island to another, you’ve got learn to navigate.

It’s 1991, there’s a recession in Finland, and concerns about global warming are circulating. Maria, a young eco-activist, ends up on the island and meets the seventy-eight-year-old Tove Jansson, who has just published a new collection of short stories. When Maria writes about Tove, a world lived for art opens up to her: rebellion, solace, adventure, mischievous laughter. It would have been impossible to be both a good artist and a good wife, Tove says.

Autumn Novel covers several decades, from the 1940s to the 1990s, and, in Venho’s inimitable language, depicts the consequences of the choices we make.

Johanna Venho is an award-winning poet and a novelist. Venho’s poems and chil-dren’s books have been published in a number of languages; e.g. in French, Ger-man, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Slovakian. Her first historical novel, The First Lady, is a story about Sylvi Kekkonen, who finds herself and her voice as a writer and hopes that after living one life, there’ll still be time to start another. Sylvi’s story was nominated for the Finlandia Prize in 2019. The First Lady was published in Estonian.


Finnish Edition
Sample English Translation, 64pp
Author Letter