Fall 2015/2016 Titles:
Two friends, one a budding writer home from abroad, the other an ambitious racketeer, meet in the only nightclub, the Tram 83, in a war-torn city-state in secession, surrounded by profit-seekers of all languages and nationalities. Tram 83 plunges the reader into the modern African gold rush as cynical as it is comic and colorfully exotic, using jazz rhythms to weave a tale of human relationships in a world that has become a global village. With an introduction by Man Booker International-nominated author Alain Mabanckou.
An epic saga of “families and friends entangled in the cruel snare of history” (Time Magazine), Home combines political repression and exile with a spicy mixture of love, family, and food, alternating between Paris and Jakarta in the time between Suharto’s 1965 rise to power and downfall in 1998, further illuminating Indonesia’s tragic twentieth-century history popularized by the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing.
Paperback – $16.95
A passionate political and psychological thriller set in a remote Argentinean Pampas town, Target in the Night is an intense and tragic family history reminiscent of King Lear, in which the madness of the detective is integral to solving crimes. Target in the Night, a masterpiece, won every major literary prize in the Spanish language in 2011.
Ebook – $9.99
The second book in a trilogy chronicling the troubled childhood of international sensation Jón Gnarr, The Pirate revisits his teenage years with sincere compassion and great humor: bullied relentlessly, young Jón receives rebellious inner strength through the Sex Pistols and Prince Kropotkin—punk rock and anarchy offer the promise of a better and more exciting life.
Paperback – $14.95
Ebook – $9.99
This powerful, profound autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind and increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction and autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, and caustic novel about the relationship between the body, illness, science, and human relationships.
A joy to read, profoundly funny, touching, and profound, La Superba, winner of the most prestigious Dutch literary prize, is a Rabelaisian, stylistic tour-de-force. Migration, legal and illegal, is at the center of this novel about a writer who becomes trapped in his walk on the wild side in mysterious and exotic Genoa, Italy—the labyrinthine, timeless port city nicknamed “La Superba.”
Download our Spring 2015 Catalog (PDF):
Spring 2015 Titles
Loosely based on the little-known 1859 Mexican invasion of the United States, Carmen Boullosa’s newest novel Texas: The Great Theft is a richly imagined evocation of the volatile Tex-Mex borderland, wrested from Mexico in 1848. Described by Roberto Bolaño as “Mexico’s greatest woman writer,” Boullosa views the border history through distinctly Mexican eyes, and her sympathetic portrayal each of her wildly diverse characters—Mexican ranchers and Texas Rangers, Comanches and cowboys, German socialists and runaway slaves, Southern belles and dance hall girls—makes her storytelling tremendously powerful and absorbing. With today’s Mexican-American frontier such a front-burner concern, this novel that brilliantly illuminates its historical landscape is especially welcome. Texas is Boullosa’s fourth novel to appear in English, her previous novels were published by Grove Press.
The Art of Flight, originally published in 1997, is the first novel in Sergio Pitol’s “Trilogy of Memory,” a collection of essays and stories that blends the genres of memoir and creative essay in an imaginative swirl of reflection and contemplation. Pitol, considered Mexico’s greatest living author, was honored for his lifetime achievements with the 2005 Cervantes Prize, considered the Spanish language’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. From the 1960s through the 1990s Pitol worked as a cultural attaché in Mexican embassies throughout the world, and served as ambassador to Czechoslovakia. An erudite scholar of literary history and world culture, Pitol is also renowned for his translations from Russian, Polish, English, and German into Spanish, including Joseph Conrad, Jane Austen, and Witold Gombrowicz. A unique, timeless, international literary voice in the mold of Henry James, Thomas Mann, and Jorge Luis Borges, Pitol’s work has been translated into more than ten languages. The Art of Flight is Pitol’s first novel published in English.
Sphinx is the debut novel, originally published in 1986, by the incredibly talented and inventive French author Anne Garréta, one of the few female members of OuLiPo, the influential and exclusive French experimental literary group whose mission is to create literature based on mathematical and linguistic restraints, and whose ranks include Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, and Raymond Queneau, among others. Sphinx is a remarkable work of literary ingenuity: a beautiful and complex love story between two characters, the narrator, “I,” and A., written completely without any gendered pronouns or gender markers referring to the main characters, all the more difficult in the strict gender requirements of the French language. In addition to her creative output, Garréta is a scholar of French and Romance literatures, and teaches half the year at the University of Rennes in France, and the other half of the year at Duke University. Sphinx is Garréta’s first novel to appear in English, and was published with support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.
The Indian is a highly entertaining piece of bittersweet autobiographical fiction by world-famous Icelandic comedian and Mayor of Reykjavik, Jón Gnarr, who describes his riotous childhood—which wasn’t always a bed of roses. Diagnosed as “retarded” because of his severe dyslexia and ADHD, Gnarr spent several years as a child in a “home for retarded children.” He finally got out, only to find himself subject to ridicule in regular schools for being slow and red-headed. Subjected to constant bullying, young Gnarr watched Westerns always rooting for the Indians to defeat the bully cowboys.
The Indian is the first novel in a trilogy on Gnarr’s youth, and resonates with young readers as much as with parents of children with emotional and learning issues; The Indian is taught in schools throughout Iceland, resonating with readers of all ages. The second book in the trilogy picks up on Gnarr’s teenage years when he discovered punk rock music and started rebelling (The Pirate); the third book looks at his young adulthood, when he dropped out of high school and had to do time in a home for juvenile delinquents in a bleak, remote corner of Iceland (The Outlaw). Deep Vellum will publish the full trilogy throughout 2015-2016.
Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories is the first English-language collection of short stories by Mikhail Shishkin, the most acclaimed contemporary author in Russia, including four stories that have been published in various English-language sources (Words Without Borders, Read Russia Anthology, Spolia, the Independent) and four previously untranslated stories (including two previously unpublished in any language). Shishkin was the first (and still the only) writer to win the three major Russian literary awards (the Russian Booker, National Bestseller, and Big Book Awards). He is a master prose writer in the timeless, breathtakingly beautiful style of the greatest Russian writers, such as Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Bunin, and Boris Pasternak. Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories will be Shishkin’s third work available in English, previously published were his novels Maidenhair (Open Letter) and The Light and the Dark (Quercus).
This remarkable debut novel by a unique young Russian voice portrays the influence of political intolerance and religious violence in the lives of people forced to choose between evils. The Mountain and the Wall focuses on Shamil, a young local reporter in Makhachkala, and his reactions, or lack thereof, to rumors that the Russian government is building a wall to cut off the Muslim provinces of the Caucasus from the rest of Russia. As unrest spreads and the tension builds, Shamil’s life is turned upside down, and he can no longer afford to ignore the violence surrounding him. With a fine sense for mounting catastrophe, Ganieva tells the story of the decline of a society torn apart by its inherent extremes.
The Journey features one of the world’s master storytellers at work as he skillfully recounts two weeks of travel around the Soviet Union in 1986. From the first paragraph Pitol dislocates the sense of reality, masterfully and playfully blurring the lines between fiction and fact. This adventurous story, based on the author’s own travel journals, parades through some of the territories that the author lived in and traveled through (Prague, the Caucasus, Moscow, Leningrad) as he reflects on the impact of Russia’s sacred literary pantheon in his life and the power that literature holds over us all. The Journey, the second work in Pitol’s remarkable “Trilogy of Memory” (which Deep Vellum is publishing in its entirety), which won him the prestigious Cervantes Prize in 2005 and inspired the newest generation of Spanish-language writers, represents the perfect example of one of the world’s greatest authors at the peak of his power.