New and Novel

The 20th century’s darker chapters loom large in this week’s newly published books, with a story of romance set during the Auschwitz trials, a story of trickery and imagination written by one of the victims of Stalin’s Terror from Georgia, and the long-awaited translation of one of Hungary’s legendary works of modernism.

 

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This Place Holds No Fear by Monika Held

Published on Holocaust Memorial Day & the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Summoned from Vienna to Frankfurt to testify at the Auschwitz trials, Heiner meets Lena, who is working at the court as a translator. As the trial progresses, Heiner bears witness to his experiences of being deported to Auschwitz as a young man. He and Lena begin a cautious love affair, but both are unsure whether their love can be strong enough to cope with his trauma. In clear, unobtrusive prose inspired by interviews Monika Held did with Auschwitz survivors, This Place Holds No Fear paints an emotive picture of life and love governed by trauma.

Translated by Anne Posten

Published by Haus Publishing

Read more about the book here

An excerpt from the novel will be published in the upcoming Saturday European Fiction in B O D Y

 

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Prae: Vol. 1 by Miklós Szentkuthy

Incomparable and unprecedented in Hungarian literature, Prae compels recognition as a serious contribution to modernist fiction, as ambitious in its aspirations as Ulysses or À la recherche du temps perdu. Szentkuthy said that his goal with Prae was “to absorb the problems of modern philosophy and mathematics into modern fashion, love, and every manifestation of life.”

Translated for the first time since its original publication in 1934, upon its 80th anniversary, this legendary and controversial Hungarian modernist novel is now at last available in English.

Translated by Tim Wilkinson

Published by Contra Mundum Press

Read more about the book here

Read an excerpt from Prae published in B O D Y here

 

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Kvachi by Mikheil Javakhishvili

This is, in brief, the story of a swindler, a Georgian Felix Krull, or perhaps a cynical Don Quixote, named Kvachi Kvachantiradze: womanizer, cheat, perpetrator of insurance fraud, bank-robber, associate of Rasputin, filmmaker, revolutionary, and pimp. Though originally denounced as pornographic, Kvachi’s tale is one of the great classics of twentieth-century Georgian literature—and a hilarious romp to boot.

Translated by Donald Rayfield

Published by Dalkey Archive Press

Read more about the book here

Read a review of the book at The Complete Review here

Photo – Mikheil Javakhishvili

 

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Categories: Books, New and notable

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