Snowbound Reading

It’s another snow-buried day in the Northeast.  And hence that brings to mind some snowy reading.  Tove Jannson’s The True Deceiver,  newly available in English, is the story of a snowbound Scandinavian village and two women — one an outcast, one a respected citizen, whose paths cross with disturbing results.  Jannson is best known for her Moomintroll stories for children (and her Moominland in Midwinter is another perfect snow-day read, about what happens when a Moomin wakes up accidentally from his family’s annual hibernation), but later wrote a number of psychologically acute, brilliantly compact novels for adults.

Another classic good to curl up with on a socked-in day?  Adelbert Stifter’s Rock Crystal, a luminous novella of two children lost in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve.   In her Reader’s Diary column, Brooke Allen calls it “ is a deceptively simple tale” and notes that Stifter uses it to raise “grand existential themes.”