New and Novel

The story of the beautiful and tragic Dagny Juel, inspiration to Munch and Strindberg among others; Polish science-fiction, an autobiography of a physician and party girl in Weimar Berlin, Charlotte Wolff, and an English-language debut novel from Georgia are among the new books being featured this week.

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Nest of Worlds by Marek S. Huberath

Nest of Worlds is the first novel to appear in English from contemporary Polish science fiction master Marek S. Huberath. A metafictional adventure through a dystopian world that owes as much to Borges, Saramago, and even Thomas More as it does to Stanislaw Lem, Nest of Worlds is a meditation on the nature of narrative, reality, love, and the darkest aspects of the human psyche and civilization.

Nest of Worlds takes place on a planet that resembles our own, with a few important exceptions: Every 35 years, residents must move to a new “Land”; each a rigid caste society based on hair color, the order different in each one. Each person bears a secret name that presages the manner of their eventual deaths. And time passes relatively more slowly the further one gets from the planet’s surface.

Translated by Michael Kandel

Published by Restless Books

Read more about the book here

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Adibas by Zaza Burchuladze

War is raging in Georgia, Russian fighter planes are thundering overhead, and yet, for some, the falling bombs cause no more impact than the slight ripple moving through the purified water of their swimming pools, or the rattling of a spoon in their cappuccino cups. Filtered through the bleary and cynical mind of Shako—a journalist famed for his appearance in Georgian Pepsi ads—Adibas is a tragic satire describing the progressive falsification of his life, invaded by consumer goods, consumer sex, consumer carnage. A “war novel” without a single battle scene, Zaza Burchuladze’s English-language debut anatomizes the Western world’s ongoing “feast in the time of plague.”

Translated by Guram Sanikidze

Published by Dalkey Archive Press

Read more about the book here

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Hindsight: An Autobiography by Charlotte Wolff

Charlotte Wolff (1897-1986) called herself a “conscious” lesbian. She contrasts Russian and German Jews in Danzig of 1910 and portrays her girlfriends with the same candor as she later describes adult lovers in Germany, France and England. She gives a vivid account of the years she spent as a physician and party girl in Weimar Berlin, her friendship with Walter and Dora Benjamin, and her interest in chirology (the study of hands) and sexology. A unique woman’s contribution to the social history of Jews, medicine, and psychotherapy.

Published by Plunkett Lake Press

Read more about the book here

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Dagny by Zurab Karumidze

Fact and fantasy collide in this visionary, literary “feast” starring historical Norwegian poet and dramatist Dagny Juel (1867-1901), a beautiful woman whose life found her falling victim to one deranged male fantasy after another. An inspiration to such celebrities as Edward Munch, August Strindberg, and Gustav Vigeland, the “Queen” of Berlin bohemia in the 1890s, she met her death at the hands of her lover in a Tbilisi hotel room in 1901. Here, her story becomes a phantasmagorical mixture of religious mysticism and eroticism, bound up with the mythic origins of civilization, and taking in everything from shamanic art to Bach’s Art of the Fugue, from gnosticism to modernism, from magic to linguistics. Also present at this feast are Joseph Stalin, his terrorist friend Camo, the guru and composer George Gurdjieff, the Georgian poet Vazha Pshavela, August Strindberg, and and Gornahor, a raven-like creature from the planet Saturn.

Read more about the book here

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Categories: Books

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One Comment on “New and Novel”

  1. 05/02/2014 at 10:59 am #

    Adibas looks really intriguing, one to add to my TBR list – sigh!

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