Fair Play (New York Review Books Classics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Review Books Original
Winner of the 2009 Bernard Shaw Prize for Translation
Fair Play is the type of love story that is rarely told, a revelatory depiction of contentment, hard-won and exhilarating.
Mari is a writer and Jonna is an artist, and they live at opposite ends of a big apartment building, their studios connected by a long attic passageway. They have argued, worked, and laughed together for decades. Yet they’ve never really stopped taking each other by surprise. Fair Play shows us Mari and Jona’s intertwined lives as they watch Fassbinder films and Westerns, critique each other’s work, spend time on a solitary island (recognizable to readers of Jansson’s The Summer Book), travel through the American Southwest, and turn life into nothing less than art.
young and they aren’t very good shots. The target moves behind the island. Okay, so they shoot over the island, but judging distance is very difficult in the beginning. We have to understand that.” She put out the coffee cups and moved Helga’s scrapbook to one side. “Give it to me!” Helga shouted. And Mari said, “You can save it in the cellar, and maybe you’d better go down there yourself. Things up here will probably just get worse and worse.” “You’re not a bit like your mother!” Helga
“Maybe I should come back a little later?” “No, no, sit down somewhere. I’ll finish this tomorrow.” They sat across from each other at the window table. Jonna lit a cigarette and said, “You don’t need to take it from the beginning. I know that part. ‘Miss, another round,’ and so on. Anton went out to use the phone. Take it from the turtle.” “But you know I have to take it from the beginning or it won’t be whole! Could I read it fast up to where it’s new? That part when they go to the
In the Great City of Phoenix AFTER a long bus trip through Arizona, Jonna and Mari came late in the evening to the great city of Phoenix and checked into the first hotel they could find near the bus station. It was called the Majestic, a heavy building from the 1910s with an air of shabby pretension. The lobby with its long mahogany counters beneath dusty potted palms, the broad staircase up to the gloom of the upper floors, the row of stiff, velvet sofas—everything was too grand, everything
techniques; you ought to look at them ...” It was incomprehensible that Jonna, who could be so chilly and distant, was now suddenly being a perfect wet nurse to a person who, in Mari’s opinion, lacked every ounce of common civility, let alone charm. Once, unforgivably, when Mari was alone in Jonna’s studio, she turned over an aquatint that Mirja had done. It wasn’t much good. Autumn wore on. Jonna had set aside her own work and started building bookshelves that she didn’t need. Mirja came
the beaches, young as I was. I’ll never forget it. We hid the canisters in seaweed. He was adventurous.” “Wrong,” said Jonna. “He was an adventurer. There’s a big difference.” ”You mean your father?” “Of course, that’s who I’m talking about. You know what I mean. He dug for gold, cut down enormous redwoods, built railways ... You saw the gold watch he got in Nome when he was guarding fish, the one with the inscription?” “Yes,” Mari said. “A genuine Hamilton.” “Precisely. A genuine Hamilton.”