by Liviu REBREANU
Translated from Romanian by Gabi REIGH
Written in the interwar period and published in 1927, this psychological thriller has captured the imagination of Romanian readers ever since. The book begins with a murder, as Puiu, a young aristocrat, strangles his wife on the night of the royal ball. To avoid a public trial and prison sentence, his father arranges to have him committed to a mental asylum.
The Sorrow of Miles Franklin beneath Mount Kajmakčalan
by Ivan ČAPOVSKI
Translated from Macedonian by Paul FILEV
In the latter years of World War I, renowned Australian writer Miles Franklin travels to the Macedonian Front, joining as a nurse at the Scottish Women’s Hospital near Mt. Kajmakčalan. Soldiers from many nations surge across a Macedonia that has been partitioned, absorbed by its neighbors. Its people struggle to survive in the face of staggering losses and being forcibly conscripted into foreign armies fighting on their soil.
The Narcissism of Death
by Svetozar SAVIĆ
Translated from Montenegrin by Vuk TOŠIĆ
Arrested for the suspicious death of his mother, “Bernard Novak” explains himself, in court and in prison:
Spending the night by chance in a seedy hotel near a quiet cemetery, he hears the laughter and moans of a couple having sex in a nearby room. Unexpectedly excited by the event, he watches as they leave… and falls in love with the beautiful woman, whom he immediately names M (for Midnight).
He recalls that he has seen the man before: Joko, a minor functionary in the government.
Tanja Maljartschuk is one of the most prolific and audacious young authors currently writing in Ukrainian, with a hallmark style blending searing social commentary with heartwarming humor and an appreciation for the human condition.
A Biography of a Chance Miracle
Translated from Ukrainian by Zenia TOMPKINS
A Biography of a Chance Miracle explores the life of Lena, a young girl growing up in the somewhat vapid, bureaucracy-ridden and nationalistic Western Ukrainian city of San Francisco. Lena is a misfit from early childhood due to her unwillingness to scorn everything Russian, her propensity for befriending forlorn creatures, her aversion to the status quo, and her fear of living a stupid and meaningless life. As her friends enter college, Lena sets forth on a mission to defend the abused and downtrodden of San Francisco—be they canine or human—armed with nothing more than an arsenal of humor, stubbornness, chutzpah and no shortage of imagination. Her successes are minimal at best, but in the process of trying to save San Francisco’s collective humanity, she may end up saving her own. At first glance a crazy and combative girl, Lena just may be the salvation that the Ukrainians of San Francisco sorely need.
A quiet, somewhat neurotic undertaker spends his days caring for his exotic fish, and of course his silent bodies as they arrive. One day, quite out of the ordinary, he receives a ticket to the movies. The movie, however, turns out to be of him, apparently filmed without his knowledge! Convinced that he is being targeted by a TV reality show, he plays along, only to be dragged from one adventure to the next, in a fantastic journey that evolves into a story of love, of death, and of ultimate creativity.
And through his travails we discover new perspectives on our own roles in an increasingly insensitive and scripted world.
Hidden Camera was nominated for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Youchan Itoh, the talented artist who is handling the cover art for the Zoran Živković collection, has published a lovely blogpost on how she did it.
It’s in Japanese, of course, but the pictures tell most of the story!