The True Deceiver

The True Deceiver (1982; Swedish: Den ärliga bedragaren, lit. “The Honest Deceiver”) is a novel by Swedish-Finnish author Tove Jansson. It was translated into English by Thomas Teal and won the Best Translated Book Award in 2011.

Snow has been falling on the village all winter long. It covers windows and piles up in front of doors. The sun rises late and sets early, and even during the day there is little to do but trade tales. This year everybody’s talking about Katri Kling and Anna Aemelin. Katri is a yellow-eyed outcast who lives with her simpleminded brother and a dog she refuses to name. She has no use for the white lies that smooth social intercourse, and she can see straight to the core of any problem. Anna, an elderly children’s book illustrator, appears to be Katri’s opposite: a respected member of the village, if an aloof one. Anna lives in a large empty house, venturing out in the spring to paint exquisitely detailed forest scenes. But Anna has something Katri wants, and to get it Katri will take control of Anna’s life and livelihood. By the time spring arrives, the two women are caught in a conflict of ideals that threatens to strip them of their most cherished illusions.” - New York Times Book Reviews

Listening In: Francesca Gesualdi reads from Tove Jansson’s ‘The True Deceiver’

Listening In

Listening In is broadcast over Cortes Radio, CKTZ 89.5 FM, on select Mondays at 6:30 PM

“My radio show Listening In is my way of carrying on the rich oral tradition of using the breath to animate* the written word off the page and into the air, in our case into the airwaves, and into the omniscient ear of the Universe. Because the Universe is always listening in. Myself and my special guests will be reading brief sample passages of books written by BC authors, published listed by our smaller presses, with notable exceptions to that rule. So we invite you to stick an ear out and listen in. After all, in all probity, reading is a small political act.”

Francesca Gesualdi is a resident of Quadra Island, by way of Italy, Montreal, California and Hawaii. She is member and treasurer of the BC Federation of Writers,, and a contributor to both Cortes Radio and Cortes Currents.

Ghost Sea

Listening In: Francesca Gesualdi Reads from Ferenc Mate’s “Ghost Sea,” part one.

A spellbinding tale of the sea: love, murder, and mysticism: At the turn of the century, a Kwakiutl warrior from British Columbia’s wild northern islands raids an artifact collector’s yacht to reclaim stolen sacred masks. He takes the collector’s wife, Kate, as hostage on his 200-mile canoe voyage home. The collector hires Dugger, a coastal trader living on the edges of the law, to give chase in his ketch with the collector as passenger, but Dugger’s financial salvation comes at a terrible price, for he is Kate’s secret lover. Day and night Dugger sails the uncharted islands, through raging currents and ship-swallowing whirlpools, and the account of his pursuit is interwoven with Kate’s harrowing and erotically charged journey. Based on a true story, this novel reaches its thrilling climax at the last secret, hallucinatory potlatch of the ancient Kwakiutl culture, where the history of a doomed people is melded with the fury of three hearts.” -

Lands of Lost Borders

Listening In: Francesca Gesualdi reads from Kate Harris’ ‘Lands of Lost Borders’

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road is a compelling, suspenseful, insightful and elegant travel memoir … The book moves seamlessly between the Silk Road adventure and backstory that led up to it … The book also moves easily between narrative and philosophy … There are certainly adventures. Dangerous roads around the Black Sea, mistaken imprisonment in a tea house, visa problems, bad weather, bad roads, hunger, illness, lost bicycles, and the seemingly ever-present kindness of strangers keep the book moving along. And there are certainly digressions into discussions of Darwin, Sagan, Polo, ecology and regional history. Every one of them is a thread you can’t undo … This is one that will have you dreaming.” - Bookmark’s Reviews