New and Novel

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Sometimes in the world of literature in translation when it rains it pours. So it is that on May 12th it will be pouring a fantastic new selection of books, including a Czech modernist in English for the first time, a surreal Czech novel written during Czechoslovakia’s normalization after the Soviet occupation and a Russian master’s first short story collection in English translation.

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Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories by Mikhail Shishkin

Hailed as a worthy successor to Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Gogol, Mikhail Shishkin has already proven himself in English with the widely acclaimed novels Maidenhair and The Light and the Dark. Now, for the first time ever, a collection of his masterful, learned, and sensual stories arrives. In pieces like “The Half-Belt Overcoat” and “Nabokov’s Inkblot” he engages directly with the greats of Russian literature, while in others he converses with European icons like James Joyce and Robert Walser. Ranging from soccer and microprocessors to the great heroines of Russian literature, letters between lovers, and fathers separated from their sons by exile, war, and the State police, Shishkin’s mind proves encyclopedic yet strikingly intimate. Shishkin’s agile, inventive narration reveals his homeland anew, showing once again why he has become one of Russia’s most valued storytellers—and an important new author in the West.

And don’t forget to read Shishkin’s piece in The New York Times on the celebration Victory Day in Russia, “How Russians Lost the War“.

Translated by Marian Schwartz, Leo Shtutin, Mariya Bashkatova, and Sylvia Maizell

Published by Deep Vellum Publishing

Read more about the book here

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The Game for Real by Richard Weiner

Called “The Man of Pain” by the author Karel Čapek, Richard Weiner is one of European literature’s best-kept secrets. The Game for Real marks the long overdue arrival of his dreamlike, anxiety-ridden fiction into English.

Blending metaphysical questions with farcical humor, bizarre twists, and acute psychology, The Game for Real is a riveting exploration of who we are—and why we can’t be so sure we know.

Translated by Benjamin Paloff

Published by Two Lines Press

Read more about the book here

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Kingdom of Souls by Daniela Hodrová

“Through playful poetic prose, imaginatively blending historical and cultural motifs with autobiographical moments, Daniela Hodrová shares her unique perception of Prague. A Kingdom of Souls is the first volume of this author’s literary journey — an unusual quest for self, for one’s place in life and in the world, a world that for Hodrová is embodied in Prague.”

From the introduction by Elena Sokol, Professor Emerita of Russian Studies at The College of Wooster, Ohio.

The novel will be launched in London on May 12 at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and in Prague on May 15 at Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore and Café.

Translated by Véronique Firkusny and Elena Sokol

Published by Jantar Publishing

Read more about the book here

Read an excerpt in B O D Y here

Photo – Mikhail Shishkin by Yvonne Boehler

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Categories: Books

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