One of my roles as your Blogger-in-UK-residence is to share any Good News about International writing on ‘our’ side of the Channel – and I’ve just been served up a large delicious helping of brain food which I want to share with you to give your new year a healthy start. Thanks to the great work of PEN Atlas (editor Tasja Dorkofikis), English PEN (of which I am a member) and my many UK publisher colleagues dedicated to translated literature we have the ultimate list of reading choices for 2015. A whole range of publishers (the majority independent) pick their best for your book year ahead.
Rosie Goldsmith – At Your Service!
1. Stefan Tobler, And Other Stories
It’s an exciting year for our translated fiction — as well as the year of our first British debut fiction (from Niyati Keni and Angela Readman). We have two new titles in translation from authors we have published already: Carlos Gamerro (in March The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón, a hilariously satirical novel that takes in business inspirational books and Argentine guerrilleros) and Oleg Pavlov (in July Requiem for a Soldier, a very dark absurd humour in the last days of the Soviet empire), as well as the following five authors previously untranslated in English:
SJ Naudé has translated his own Afrikaans stories in The Alphabet of Birds. Published this month, the stories have been highly praised by many writers and are on their way to entering the canon of South African literature.
In March we will publish our first of three upcoming novels from the much-talked-about young Mexican writer Yuri Herrera. Signs Preceding the End of the World (translated by Lisa Dillman) is a novel about a translator in some ways: the main character, Makina, has national and language borders to cross and must come to terms with how this changes her.
In April comes the Swiss writer Anne Cuneo’s Tregian’s Ground (translated by Roland Glasser and Louise Rogers Lalaurie). This historical novel is also a remarkable, cross-border story, this time of the copyist and compiler of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Francis Tregian. In danger as a Catholic in the Elizabethan Age, he journeys across Europe, befriending Shakespeare, swapping scores with Byrd and Monteverdi, and playing in the French court.
Haroldo Conti’s Southeaster (translated by Jon Lindsay Miles) is long overdue in English. Conti’s writing won major prizes and was praised by Gabriel García Márquez and Eduardo Galeano among others in the 70s, before he was ‘disappeared’ at the age of fifty-one by the Argentine dictatorship. Southeaster, the first of his books to be translated into English, is about a man drifting with odd jobs and a boat in the Paraná Delta.
Susana Moreira Marques’ Now and at the Hour of our Death (translated by Julia Sanches) was the single book that most excited our readers in our Portuguese reading groups since 2011. We all fell in love with its beautiful, genre-defying approach. Accompanying a palliative care team, Moreira Marques travelled to a forgotten old corner of northern Portugal. She listens to families facing death and gives us their stories in their words as well as through her own reflections. It brilliantly combines the spirit of oral history with the sensibility of philosophical reportage.
2. Bill Swainson, Bloomsbury
Reckless by Hasan Ali Toptaş (translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely and John Angliss) – March. Hasan Ali Toptaş is one of Turkey’s leading writers. His books have won many prizes, including the Orhan Kemal Novel Prize and Yunus Nadai Novel Prize and have been widely translated though not published in English. Reckless (published in Turkish in 2013) is the story of a man fleeing the spiralling chaos of the big city in search of serenity in an Anatolian village of which he has heard dreamlike tales from an old army friend. But the village is no simple idyll and the mystery of just what he did on the Turkish/Syrian border 30 years earlier that places his friend in his debt eludes him.
The All Saints’ Day Lovers by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean) – May. Achingly sad and exquisitely crafted, the seven stories in The All Saints’ Day Lovers together form an artistic whole, united by theme, mood, intense emotion and the starkly beautiful landscape of the Ardennes. ‘One of the most original new voices of Latin American literature’ Mario Vargas Llosa.
The Occupation Trilogy: La Place de l’Étoile; The Night Watch; Ring Roads by Patrick Modiano – August. The first three novels that the 2014 Nobel Laureate published in France, when he burst onto the Parisian literary scene at the end of the ’60s challenging the Gaullist myths, form a trilogy of the Occupation and evoke the city of that time, with its mystery, complicity and moral ambivalence. The Trilogy sees the first publication in English of La Place de l’Étoile (translated by Frank Wynne) alongside The Night Watch (translated by Patricia Wolf) and Ring Roads (translated by Caroline Hillier).
3. Geoff Mulligan, Clerkenwell
Gone to Ground by Marie Jalowicz Simonis the remarkable story of a young Jewish woman’s survival in Berlin through the Second World War. It is coming out in February and is translated by Anthea Bell.
4. Eric Lane, Dedalus
The Interpreter by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry follows on from New Finnish Grammar and The Last of the Vostyachs and forms a trilogy of novels on the theme of language and identity. The Interpreter is both a quest and a thriller, and at times a comic picaresque caper around Europe but also deals with the profound issues of existence.
What Became of the White Savage by Francois Garde, translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins is also a novel about language and identity and the need to belong. Based on a true story of a sailor who is abandoned in 19-th c Australia and spends 17 years living as an aborigine and when he is found and taken back to France cannot readjust to so-called civilised life. In France it won 9 literary prizes including the Goncourt in the first novel category.
Lightheaded by Olga Slavnikova, translated by Andrew Bromfield is a zany, anarchic black comedy which satirises life in contemporary Russia. At its heart is the question what is important in life and what sacrifices an individual should be expected to make for the good of others. Winner of the Debut Prize.
Ink in the Blood by Stephane Hochet, translated by Mike Mitchell. An artist gets his first tattoo and finds his whole being changes, what he feels and especially how he relates to women in this atmospheric and spine-chilling Euro short.
5. Daniela Petracco, Europa Editions
The book I’m most looking forward to publishing this year is The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante in Ann Goldstein’s accomplished translation. The fourth and final instalment of the celebrated Neapolitan novels will be published in September.
We are also adding some new authors to our list: Greek author Fotini Tsalikoglou with her melancholic novella The Secret Sister, out this month in Mary Kitroeff’s translation; French author Anna Gavalda with Billie, the urgently-told, inspiring story of two survivors, a novel that spent months in the number 1 spot on the French best seller lists last year and has been translated into 30 languages and counting. The English translation is by Jennifer Rappaport.
In the Summer we’ll be publishing the first novel by none other than Nobel Laureate, actor and dramatist Dario Fo: The Pope’s Daughter, translated by Antony Shugaar, re-tells the story of Lucrezia and the Borgias as a shocking mirror image for the uses and abuses of power in our own time.
Also in the Summer, a rediscovered classic by Jewish Austrian author Ernst Lothar, who, like his friend and associate Stefan Zweig, was forced to leave Vienna and seek exile abroad in the last years before WW2. The Vienna Melody tells the story of a family of piano makers from the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Austria’s Nazi takeover of 1938. We are reissuing the original 1948 translation by Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood.
Another title I much look forward to is the new novel by the young and gifted Viola Di Grado. The Hollow Heart, translated by Antony Shugaar, tells the story of a suicide – before, during and after – told in forensic, heart-breaking detail.
In our World Noir series, we have new crime novels by Carlotto, Mallock, de Giovanni, and an exciting debut: The Night of the Panthers by Piergiorgio Pulixi is the first in a series that will explore organised crime and police corruption.
6. Jacques Testard, Fitzcarraldo Editions
The first translated book we publish this year is My Documents (April) by the Chilean novelist Alejandro Zambra (translated by Megan McDowell), his fourth to appear in English. The previous three were short novels, written with the author’s trademark irony and precision, humour and melancholy. My Documents, which is, on the surface, a collection of stories, is his longest work yet. Whether chronicling the attempts of a migraine-afflicted writer to quit smoking or the loneliness of the call-centre worker, the life of a personal computer or the return of the mercurial godson, this novel in fragments evokes the disenchantments of youth and the disillusions of maturity in a Chilean society still troubled by its recent past. In the words of Adam Thirlwell, ‘these stories are graceful, grave, comical, disabused. I guess what I mean is: My Documents represents a new form. When I think about Alejandro Zambra, I feel happy for the future of fiction.’
In June, we publishe Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good, a collection of free verse and essays by ‘Russia’s first authentic post-Soviet author’ (Keith Gessen). Widely published and critically acclaimed as a poet, Medvedev is also a prominent political activist and a member of the Russian Socialist movement ‘Vpered’ [Forward]. His small press, the Free Marxist Publishing House, has recently released his translations of Pasolini, Eagleton, and Goddard, as well as numerous books on the intersection of literature, art and politics. Medvedev has also taken the unusual step of renouncing copyright — only pirated editions, no contracts. It’s No Good includes selected poems from his first four books of poetry as well as his most significant essays. A collective of translators — Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill and Bela Shayevich — worked on the various texts.
Following on from our launch title, Zone, published in August 2014, we publish Mathias Enard’s novel Street of Thieves in August 2015, once again brilliantly translated by Charlotte Mandell. It tells the story of Lakhdar, a young Tangerine who finds himself exiled from his family for religious transgressions related to his feelings for his cousin, Meryem. A bildungsroman set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, Street of Thieves is also a story about immigration, and draws on a wealth of literary influences – Bowles, Choukri, Genet and Burroughs, to name a few.
7. Jane Aitken, Gallic Books
In February we are tremendously excited to publish best-selling Algerian authorYasmina Khadra’s novel The African Equation, translated by Howard Curtis. The story centres around Kurt, a Frankfurt doctor held hostage in East Africa whose view of the continent is challenged by a fellow captive. Khadra’s vivid imagining of the demise of Colonel Gaddafi, The Dictator’s Last Night, translated by Julian Evans, will follow in October.
April sees the publication of The Red Notebook, the much-anticipated new novel by The President’s Hat author Antoine Laurain. Translated in-house by Emily Boyce, we have a special attachment to this quirky, romantic tale with a bookseller hero who attempts to track down a woman based on the contents of her bag – which mysteriously include a signed copy of a novel by famously reclusive Nobel winner Patrick Modiano.
Anne Berest’s fictionalised biography Sagan, Paris 1954, out in June, draws a portrait of 18-year-old Françoise Sagan as her debut novel Bonjour Tristesse is poised to propel her to fame. The translator, Heather Lloyd, recently translated the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Bonjour Tristesse, so was the ideal choice for this intimate account of the novel’s continued relevance.
Then in September comes our first foray into graphic novels, and what a way to start: Stéphane Heuet’s beautifully illustrated adaptation of Proust’s Swann’s Way, translated by Harvard academic Arthur Goldhammer. This ambitious project will give Proust-lovers a different way to approach the text, and, we hope, encourage new readers to discover it for themselves.
8. Max Porter, Granta & Portobello
We start the year with The Vegetarian by Han Kang (January, translated by Deborah Smith), a remarkable and unsettling novel about taboo and metamorphosis. It’s an essential read for anybody interested in illness, performance and trauma. It is also notable for Deborah Smith’s beautiful and intuitive translation.
In March we have the mesmeric new novel by Man Booker International nominated Peter Stamm, All Days are Night (translated by Michael Hofmann). It tells the story of a perfect life that is violently shattered by tragedy. Like all Stamm’s work it is unadorned, insightful and quietly devastating.
Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? by Swedish economist and journalist Katrine Marçal (March, translated by Saskia Vogel) is an engaging and thought-provoking look at economics, equality and the mess we are in. As the general election approaches and the gender pay gap widens, it’s time we brought feminism and economics together.
Valeria Luiselli, author of Sidewalks and Faces in the Crowd returns in April with a sparklingly intelligent and raucous comic novel The Story of My Teeth (translated by Christina McSweeney). Just in time for the Mexico market focus at LBF 2015 one of Latin America’s rising literary stars leaps into wonderfully flamboyant storytelling mode.
Other highlights from Granta and Portobello in 2015 include The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret (July, translated by Sondra Silverston, Miriam Shlesinger, Jessica Cohen, Anthony Berris), a life-affirming collection of tragicomic essays by the author the New York Times called ‘a genius’.
We have a previously unpublished collection of essays by the great Joseph Roth, called The Hotel Years, writings from inter-war Italy, Germany, Russia, Albania and Ukraine, by turns poignant, witty and unsettling (September, translated by Michael Hofmann).
Also in September Portobello Books will publish The Strange Case of Thomas Quick by Dan Josefsson (translated by Anna Paterson), the riveting story of a prisoner who posed as the worst serial killer in Swedish history, and the psychoanalyst who shaped the investigation.
In November we publish Walter Kempowski’s last, great, novel All for Nothing (translated by Anthea Bell) a towering masterpiece of post-war German fiction comparable to Roth, Fallada and Grass, which also calls to mind Rachel Seiffert’s Dark Room and Richard Bausch’s Peace.
9. Michal Shavit, Harvill Secker
This year at Harvill Secker we have an incredibly strong selection of fiction in translation: An electrifying debut, Jesús Carrasco, Out in the Open, to be published in April. Beautifully translated by Margaret Jull Costa it tells the story of a boy in a drought-stricken country ruled by violence. A closed world where names and dates don’t matter, where morals have drained away with the water. It has been a huge best-seller in Spain and Holland and it marks the arrival of a major new Spanish writer.
We are also excited to welcome to the list Mia Couto in August. It is an understatement to describe Mia Couto as Mozambique’s greatest novelist – he is in fact one of the most outstanding authors to have emerged in Africa’s post-colonial history. Based on a true story, Confession of the Lioness, translated by David Brookshaw, is set in the rural village of Kulumani as it is being besieged by killer lions. As the inevitable encounter with the lions approaches, the hidden tensions in the village are gradually exposed and the real theme of the novel becomes apparent: the war is not between man and nature but between the village’s patriarchal traditions and its long suffering women.
And last but certainly not least, this March we are publishing the fourth volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s phenomenal My Struggle series, translated by Don Bartlett: Dancing in the Dark. 18 years old and fresh out of high school, Karl Ove moves to a remote Norwegian fishing village to work as a teacher. All goes well to begin with. But as the nights grow longer, Karl Ove’s life takes a darker turn. Drinking causes him blackouts and romantic adventures end in humiliation. As the New York Times Book Review put it: ‘Why would you read a six-volume 3,600-page Norwegian novel about a man writing a six-volume 3,600-page Norwegian novel? The short answer is that it is breathtakingly good and so you cannot stop yourself, and would not want to’.
10. Susan Curtis, Istros Books
We have seven lucky titles lined up for you in 2015: we start the year with Croatian poet Olja Savicevic’s beautiful debut novel, Farewell Cowboy, followed by a collection of hard-hitting short prose pieces exploring the female condition in Turkey in Ciler Ilhan’s Exile – winner of the European Prize for Literature. We also have another EU prize winner in the Slovenian writer, Gabriela Babnik and an unusual love story set in Africa, Dry Season. Dream and nightmare are the themes of Evald Flisar‘s psychologically challenging novel, My Father’s Dreams, whereas fairy tales are the playground for Macedonian writer, Aleksandar Prokopiev in his collection for adults – Homunculus. We will also be treated to the final instalment of Andrej Nikolaidis‘ informal ‘Olchinium Trilogy’ – Till Kingdom Come and get to taste one of the biggest Balkan hits in recent years: Yugoslavia, My Country by Goran Vojnovic.
11. Katharina Bielenberg, MacLehose Press
Enquist’s The Wandering Pine (January, translated by Deborah Bragan Turner). In this venerated Swedish novelist gives us his life in the third person, as a national highjumper, as a journalist during the 1972 Munich Olympic hostage crisis, as a playwright who had the most tremendous Broadway flop, and as an alcoholic whose disease almost destroyed him. A startlingly bold autobiography.
In Evelio Rosero’s Feast of the Innocents (January, translated by Anne McLean and Anna Milsom), a doctor chooses Carnival as the perfect arena in which to explode the myth of Simon Bolívar once and for all. A magical, exuberant riot of a book set in Colombia’s southern city of Pasto.
Elias Khoury’s The Broken Mirrors/Sinalcol (translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies) tells the story of two brothers divided by difference and civil war, between Beirut and France. Thought provoking, rich in language and character, beautiful constructed, another powerful novel from the Lebanese writer.
With The Heart of Man (February, translated by Philip Roughton) Icelander Jón Kalman Stefánsson concludes his sublime trilogy, a profound exploration of life in the extreme north and its most crucial elements: love, food, warmth, literature – but most of all, love.
Karim Miské’s Arab Jazz (February, translated by Sam Gordon) is a fast-paced crime novel from Paris’ 19th arrondissement that goes to the heart of religious extremism and the violence it can inspire. Recent horrific events in Paris are to some extent reflected in this novel by the Franco-Mauritanian documentary film-maker. Miské visits the UK in February for a series of events supported by PEN Promotes.
Borders by Roy Jacobsen (March, translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw) is a gripping story of impossible choices in a theatre of total war, where family love, national identity, even military genius, count for nothing as the doomed German 6th Army fights for Stalingrad in WWII.
Leica Format (translated by Celia Hawkesworth) by Croatian writer Daša Drndiƈ – author of Trieste – is a tale of cities, of how the past merges with the present, and of what constitutes a homeland. A narrative of poignant, vivid fragments and images that combine to form a haunting study of history and the processes by which we describe, remember, or falsify it.
Fall of Man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz (May, translated from Swedish by George Goulding) explores the repressive atmosphere of Cold War Britain through the death and life of revolutionary mathematician Alan Turing. Lagercrantz’s writing is so clever and engaging that complex mathematical theorems become crystal clear. He is also the author of the continuation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series (coming in August).
Later in the year we look forward to two novels by incumbent Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano (A Pedigree and So That You Don’t Lose Yourself in the Quartier), and novels by Andreï Makine, Peter Terrin and Norbert Gstrein, as well as Pierre Lemaitre’s 2013 Goncourt Prize-winner, the first in a magnum opus.
12. Juliet Mabey, Oneworld
We will be adding four novels to our growing list of fiction in translation, the first of which is A Perfect Crime by A Yi, translated from the Chinese by Anna Holmwood. A bored high school student murders his best friend to relieve the daily tedium of existence, and so begins a stylish psychological suspense novel, the literary love child of Camus’ The Stranger, Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Kafka’s The Trial. Offering both a vision of China’s heart of darkness – the despair that traps the rural poor and the incoherent rage lurking behind their phlegmatic front – and a technically brilliant excursion into the claustrophobic realm of classic horror and suspense, this novel is generously supported by a PEN Award for translation and promotion.
In July we are publishing a Norwegian YA novel in our new imprint, Rock the Boat. Minus Me, written by Ingelin Rossland and translated by Deborah Dawkin, follows a young terminally ill teenager as she completes her bucket list and ultimately comes to terms with leaving.
In October we are very excited to be publishing the critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin, translated from the Russian by Lisa Hayden. Winner of both the Big Book and Yasnaya Polyana Awards in 2013 and shortlisted for several others, this huge novel has been dubbed Russia’s The Name of the Rose. An enthralling chronicle of the Russian Middle Ages, a doomed love affair, and an epic journey all in one life-affirming, sprawling fable.
And in November we are publishing the multiple award-winning French novel Meursault, Contre-enquete by Algerian journalist and writer Kamel Daoud, translated by Sandra Smith. This highly acclaimed debut is a powerful, lyrical, and politically charged re-imagining of The Outsider, narrated by the brother of the nameless Arab killed in Camus’ iconic novel, and is already a huge bestseller in France. It has won numerous accolades including the Prix François-Mauriac of the Académie Française and the Prix des Cinq Continents, and was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt, the most prestigious literary award in French literature.
13. Meike Ziervogel, Peirene Press
Peirene only publishes three books a year and I curate them in series. 2015 is Peirene’s year of Chance Encounter: Meeting The Other. A stunning Finnish tale about the human will to survive (White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen, translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah), a French love story about the art of reading (Reader for Hire by Jean Raymond, translated by Adriana Hunter), and a Norwegian drama about two middle-aged sisters whose existence is turned upside down when a stranger enters their lives (The Looking-Glass Sisters by Gøhril Gabrielsen, translated by John Irons).
14. Amelia Fairney, Penguin
Drone Theory, by Gregoire Chamayou, translated by Janet Lloyd. Beautifully argued, passionate and coherent, this is an urgent and important polemic that blends philosophy with reportage as it grapples with one of the most pressing issues in the world today: robot warfare.
Blood-drenched Beard, by Daniel Galera, translated by Alison Entrekin (paperback). This sultry, alluring and atmospheric novel by Brazilian rising star Daniel Galera is made all the more mysterious and compelling by the protagonist’s unusual disorder: he is unable to recognize the faces of any of the people he meets.
Frog, by Mo Yan, translated by Howard Goldblatt (paperback). The latest novel by the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, Frogoffers a moving and eye-opening insight into Chinese society and the far-reaching reverberations of the one-child policy
15. Paul Baggaley, Picador
Monica Sabolo’s All This Has Nothing To Do With Me, translated by Georgina Collins, is an original, extremely funny and darkly moving glimpse into the depths of one woman’s psyche, and a delicious piece of Parisian comedy. When journalist ‘MS’ interviews the mysterious ‘XX’ for a job at her magazine, she hires him straight away – because he is gorgeous. As one date leads to another, her obsession spirals whilst the object of her affection remains aloof. There is voyeurism here, and the addiction of any glossy magazine, but the prose is also sublime – sharp, graceful and charming. And MS herself is a wonderfully sympathetic character. She has a wry awareness of how ridiculous her behaviour is even as it spins out of control, and she never takes herself too seriously; there is a touch of a 21st century Bridget Jones to her in this respect.
One Hundred Days of Happiness, translated by Tony Shugaar is Italian film director Fausto Brizzi’s gorgeously funny and sweetly sad story about the last one hundred days in the life of Lucio Battistini. Lucio’s simple life takes a tumble when an indiscretion at work gets him thrown out of the apartment he shares with his wife and children. That’s when he receives the news that he is seriously ill, an three months left to live. Lucio decides he must live his last days to the full, and there’s a lot to do. He wants to win his wife back and travel with his children, he needs to let everybody know how happy he was, in spite of everything. This novel has a fun-loving, roguish Italian charm to it and despite the inevitably sad ending it’s really about celebrating love and friendship, and it’s endlessly uplifting for that.
Wilful Disregard, translated by Sarah Death, is Lena Andersson’s August Prize-winning novel about one Ester Nilsson, a sensible person in a sensible relationship. That is until the day she is asked to give a lecture on famous artist Hugo Rask. The man himself sits in the audience, spellbound, and, when the two meet afterwards, he has the same effect on her. This short, sharp novel is just brilliant, a sort of dark love story about desperate devotion and total self-betrayal and self-delusion. It’s cuttingly, sometimes cruelly funny and written with whip-smart panache and precision.
A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler and translated by Charlotte Collins. The new novel from Austrian writer Robert Seethaler sold 100,000 copies in German last year. It is the story of one man’s life – his loves, battles, consolations and regrets – set in the Alps, as the modern world begins to erode the old ways. Told with dignity, humility and great beauty, it has been compared with John Williams’ STONER.
The Sense of an Elephant by Marco Missiroli, translated by Stephen Twilley is a powerful story of paternal love and hidden lives, set in a palazzo in Milan. Pietro arrives with a battered suitcase to take up the job as concierge, and from the outset shows a special interest in Dr Luca Martini and his family. Soon he’s letting himself into their apartment while everyone is out. What is the secret that binds the two men? This is a charming, atmospheric novel and it won Italy’s Campiello Prize in 2012.
16. Adam Freudenheim, Pushkin Press
At the end of January we publish the debut novel by Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, One Night, Markovitch (translation by Sondra Silverston). This sensuous, whimsical and moving love story fuses personal lives and epic history. It’s a true delight!
At the end of February we are thrilled to publish, in a unique, reverse back-to-back edition, Karate Chop & Minna Needs Rehearsal Space by Dorthe Nors (translations by Marin Aitken and Misha Hoekstra). This collection of stories and novella by Danish writer Dorthe Nors marks the appearance in English of one of the most original writers I know of. These two books will knock your socks off, quite simply.
At the end of March we publish the powerful allegorical novel The Boy Who Stole Atilla’s Horse by Ivan Repila, a young Spanish writer (translation by Sophie Hughes). Atilla has echoes of Beckett and Cormac McCarthy but is a very much its own thing – a fable for the early 21st century of a Europe in decline.
Pushkin Children’s Books releases early this year include The Whale That Fell in Love with a Submarine by Akiyuki Nosaka (translation by Ginny Tapley Takemori) – wartime Japan like you’ve never read about it before – and the Brazilian bestseller Fuzz McFlops by Eva Furnari, a charming tale of a depressed one-eared rabbit who happens to be a writer, too. And in September we’re thrilled to be publishing the sequel to The Letter for the King – The Secrets of the Wild Wood by Tonke Dragt (translation by Laura Watkison, who has been shortlisted for this year’s Marsh Award).
17. Hannah Westland, Serpent’s Tail
Serpent’s Tail is starting the year with a debut novel by a really exciting Finland Swedish writer called Philip Teir who has been compared to Jeffrey Eugenides and Jonathan Franzen – The Winter War (translated by Tiina Nunally) is a brilliantly funny, sharp, moving account of the demise of a family over the course of one winter, taking place in Helsinki and London. We’ve then got Leonora (translated by Amanda Hopkinson), a fictionalised account of the life of the great surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, by Elena Poniatowska, who was a friend of Carrington’s over many decades and is Mexico’s greatest living writer. In May we’re publishing Alain Mabanckou’s The Lights of Pointe Noire (translated by Helen Stevenson), a beautiful meditation on homecoming and how the Congo has changed since his childhood. And in November we’re planning to shock everyone with Danish debut Am I Cold by Copenhagen’s enfant terrible Martin Kongstad (translated by Martin Aitken) – this furious satire on art, marriage and late capitalism set in a Denmark teetering on the edge of financial crisis is hilarious, fearless, and cuts like a knife.