International Literature


 

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The Woman Destroyed Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780394711034
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Pantheon - August 12th, 1987

It helped me better understand how it feels to be an old woman, and a young woman, and a couple, and a person.

— Landon


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Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants Cover Image
By Mathias Énard, Charlotte Mandell (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780811227049
Availability: In Stock at Publisher - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: New Directions - November 27th, 2018

A perfectly constructed work of counterfactual history; a strikingly human, radiant portrait of a great artist and a great city set alongside a well-executed mystery and a moving love story. In an era of seemingly perennial conflict between East and West, Michelangelo’s bewitching story shows that very often what appears as irremediably “other” is just a different bank of the same river: all you have to do is build a bridge.

— Edoardo


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Inappropriation: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062699749
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Published: Ecco - April 9th, 2019

"This book — a satire of identity politics which takes place in a Sydney private girls school — is hands-down the funniest and smartest book I have read all year. Tied up with a critique of contemporary feminism, Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, and the empathic aggression of the Discourse, Inappropriation feels necessary in a way few books do, and will make you feel brilliantly squirmy and uncomfortable in the way a novel absolutely should. Inappropriation is simply wonderful."

— Madeleine


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An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter Cover Image
By César Aira, Chris Andrews (Translated by), Roberto Bolaño (Preface by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780811216302
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Published: New Directions - May 25th, 2006

A favorite of Patti Smith's, and a Werner Herzog movie just waiting to happen, this novella by the bonkers and prolific Aira (his best I think) recounts the misadventures of an Austrian painter who believes a sojourn to the Pampas of Argentina will help him perfect his radical new technique, only to discover – in a phrase coined by my friend after reading – that sometimes the landscape paints you.

— Tom


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A Girl Returned Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609455286
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Published: Europa Editions - July 2nd, 2019

At a certain time of year, when the weather cools, I begin to crave a certain kind of book that I've come to describe as children's books for adults: a little dark, a little magical, but ultimately comforting. A Girl Returned is something like a fairytale in reverse: a thirteen year-old girl is taken from the seaside home of her elegant and wealthy adopted parents and returned to the chaotic household of her original birth family in a small Italian village. A cross between Jane Eyre and Elena Ferrante, this is a coming-of-age story to anyone who has felt like a stranger where they ought to belong.

— Madelaine L


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The Houseguest: And Other Stories Cover Image
By Amparo Dávila, Matthew Gleeson (Translated by), Audrey Harris (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811228213
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Published: New Directions - November 27th, 2018

Amparo Dávila is 92 years old, and alive, and a force of nature, and basically unknown in North America until now, with the first english language translation of her award winning work — scratch that — award-defining work (they named a Mexican literary prize for fantastic literature after her). And this collection contains some of the most fantastic, surreal — and unsettling — stories you will find. 

— Tom


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No Longer Human Cover Image
By Osamu Dazai, Donald Keene (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811204811
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Published: New Directions - January 17th, 1973

One of the most bracing and clear-eyed mediations on alienation and depression ever written, No Longer Human, follows Ōba Yōzō (a loose stand in for Dazai himself) through his life, from young boy to adult, as he tries and fails repeatedly to in some way exist within a society he feels unable to connect to. Lacking the self-pity that would have marred lesser works, No Longer Human is an unflinching yet powerful look at the way desolation can twist someone to the point of feeling completely dejected from the world around them.

— David


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The Summer Book Cover Image
By Tove Jansson, Kathryn Davis (Introduction by), Thomas Teal (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590172681
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Published: NYRB Classics - May 20th, 2008

A customer came in one day in search for this book, and when she told me the title I couldn't help but ask what it was about: "the essence of summer." With an ongoing obsession of bottling up a feeling in time (perhaps nostalgia) I was immediately drawn to this book and wouldn't put it down. The dialogue between Sophia and her grandmother had me laughing out loud, reminding me of how idiotic my mother and I are to each other, and allowed me to experience a summer I long for in this sweltering, stinky city.

— Taylor

 

 

For anyone who cares about summer, the experience of being old, the experience of being young, or the seasonal cadences of a small Scandinavian island, this book is utterly sublime.

— Maddie


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Last Words from Montmartre Cover Image
By Qiu Miaojin, Ari Larissa Heinrich (Translated by), Ari Larissa Heinrich (Afterword by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590177259
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Published: NYRB Classics - June 3rd, 2014

A scalded, self-sacrificial account of heartbreak in a lonely city, and a haunting daybook of letting go. Published posthumously after the author's suicide at twenty-six, this auto-obituary is so vivid and full of life that it both typifies and inquisitively exceeds any literary cult of youthful morbidity. Rather, the author's letters read as an intensive inventory of artistic and erotic obsessions, so many vignettes of short-lived domestic bliss shot through with storm and stress. At turns one of the the saddest and the most ecstatic books I've read.

— Cam


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The Factory Cover Image
By Hiroko Oyamada, David Boyd (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811228855
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Published: New Directions - October 29th, 2019

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Love in a Fallen City Cover Image
By Eileen Chang, Karen S. Kingsbury (Translated by), Eileen Chang (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590171783
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Published: NYRB Classics - October 10th, 2006

These six moody stories by Eileen Chang, who wrote during and about 1930s Shanghai and Hong Kong, are a revelation - startling and vivid tales of romance and cruelty and betrayal and longing, complicated by family, war,and class divisions, and the collision of ancestral traditions with modernity.

— Bonnie


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The Siege of Krishnapur (Empire Trilogy) Cover Image
By J.G. Farrell, Pankaj Mishra (Introduction by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590170922
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Published: NYRB Classics - July 31st, 2004

A comic novel about a group of British citizens in an outpost on the Gangetic plain of India in 1857, the year of the Great Mutiny. They are holed up in the local administrator's fortified residence, under siege by mutinous, British-trained Indian soldiers, quickly dying off from bullets, disease and starvation. Their philosophies, their justifications, their bigotries and their skewed colonist moralities are similarly under siege, and begin to fester as if in a warm, damp container, some disintegrating, others flaring up like eruptions of mold. Very funny, very engrossing, and very interesting.

— Sarah


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The Waves Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780156949606
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Published: Mariner Books -

It doesn't matter what The Waves is about, the characters or the plot, nothing else matters but what it does to you. Reading this, Virginia Woolf's most experimental novel, is a lot like letting yourself surrender to the ocean. The pull of the tide, the submersion and fear and weird comfort. It took me years to get around to reading this book, years I now view as wasted, half-lived. This is maybe the only book I ever needed to live.

— Madeleine


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Flights Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525534204
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Published: Riverhead Books - August 13th, 2019

Believing, at first, that all you need from Olga Tokarczuk are the stunning images and sensations of motion; of movement from one pinprick of space to another; of discrete moments in endless flights; you'll soon find yourself reveling in the vertiginous interiority and flashing absence of narrative ailerons as the stories in Flights repeatedly lead to the unexpected, subterranean, and extraordinary. Brace yourself for longterm impact.

— Yvonne


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Abigail Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781681374031
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Published: NYRB Classics - January 21st, 2020

I'll admit that I raised an eyebrow at the jacket copy's comparison of this classic Hungarian wartime novel to Harry Potter-- but reader, I was convinced. A gothic boarding school, a rebellious teenager, a secret résistance, a cast of enigmatic teachers with hidden motives and identities, and the looming threat of war, all the ingredients are all the same. But Szabó's mischievous humor, her tender eye for detail, and her determined, often hapless characters are inimitable. 

— Maddie


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The Door (NYRB Classics) Cover Image
By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (Translated by), Ali Smith (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590177716
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Published: NYRB Classics - January 27th, 2015

A book about betrayal, and the unsettling violence that lies behind the mundane. Reading, I was drawn into a sense of almost visceral disgust - characters cold or angry and unlikable, relationships frusterating, plot sometimes uncompelling, even boring. Everything is starkly normal; also everything normal is filth. It is hard to say that I liked this book, exactly. Truthfully it made me want to take a shower. But I mean this all as high praise. Read it.

— Laurel


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A Death: Notes of a Suicide Cover Image
By Zalman Shneour, Daniel Kennedy (Introduction by), Daniel Kennedy (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781939663450
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Published: Wakefield Press - October 22nd, 2019

Comparisons to Dostoyevsky at his most embittered are warranted, but Shneour’s misanthropic narrator also often sounds like an incel getting ready for a shooting spree. I don’t know how much of this uncannily contemporary impression is thanks to Irish yiddishist Daniel Kennedy’s new translation of this 1905 bestseller, but the social isolation, the informally acquired gun, and the involuntary celibacy are all there no matter how you translate it.

— Cosmo


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Fox Cover Image
By Dubravka Ugresic, Ellen Elias-Bursac (Translator), David Williams (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781940953762
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Published: Open Letter - April 17th, 2018

Fox came to me when I was feeling glum, disappointed by contemporary literature. Ugresic saw my disillusionment, raised me this searing indictment of writers, and then - paradoxically, miraculously - restored my faith, by sheer dint of style. This loose association of stories, which follows a middle-aged Croatian writer as she attends various dubious literary functions, travels home, and ruminates on Russian literature, is more meta-fiction than novel. Ugresic is, in my book, nothing less than a curmudgeonly genius, with the discursive subtlety of Kundera and the righteous anger of Ferrante.

— Maddie


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Paradise Rot: A Novel Cover Image
By Jenny Hval, Marjam Idriss (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781786633835
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Published: Verso - October 2nd, 2018

Brimming with desire and confusion, I found this surreal book to be the exact right kind of sexy, disturbing, and heady. It captures perfectly that decomposing and displaced feeling of intractable infatuation. Like being somewhere foreign – both inside – and out.

— Tom


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Crazy for Vincent (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) Cover Image
By Herve Guibert, Bruce Hainley (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781584351993
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Published: Semiotext(e) - March 24th, 2017

One of the most important voices of the AIDS crisis, Hervé Guibert tends to be remembered for his outspoken position on the disease in France before it killed him, as well as for being a close friend of Foucault. While most of his work is out of print in English, Guibert is well due for a renaissance. His smart, confessional writing worms its way into your heart. Crazy for Vincent is a perfect introduction. A sometimes too-real depiction of sexual obsession, this book has the kind of finely-wrought episodic prose that makes people fall in love with Maggie Nelson's Bluets, with the same ability to move you and make you weep if you're so inclined. I am, and did.

— Madeleine


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Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel Cover Image
By Virginie Despentes, Frank Wynne (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374283247
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Published: FSG Originals - November 5th, 2019

This fearless, raucous, profane picaresque traces the downward spiral of the iconic owner of the defunct Revolver record shop, Vernon Subutex, after his patron, the punk rock antihero, Alex Bleach, dies of a drug overdose. Despentes is the Dante of downcast France, taking us through all the levels of modern hell from internet scourges to violent racism to sexual predators, mob madness and all varieties of moral turpitude. Not for the faint hearted, this if the first in a trilogy to be translated from French to English. Civilization beware. This is not science fiction, this is your life.

— Cheryl


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The Lover Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9780375700521
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Published: Pantheon - September 8th, 1998

Simply one of the greatest books ever written about young women, sex and going-nowhere love. Just heart-rendingly beautiful. Smart. Precise. Full of deltas and rivers and French colonial heat. The Lover moves me beyond words. I can't even form real sentences about how much I love this book.

— Madeleine


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The Loser: A Novel (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781400077540
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Published: Vintage - October 17th, 2006

A bitter and hilarious rant on the nature of mediocrity and talent. At the funeral of his friend, the narrator reflects on the time they spent studying piano with Glenn Gould, and how his out sized brilliance left them ruined and in awe.

— Jacob S.


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Animalia Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802147578
Availability: In Stock at Publisher - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Grove Press - September 10th, 2019

The absolute best book I have read all year. A rural, French saga full of sex and violence, blood and muck and despair. It's about a pig farm. It's incredible. The closest proxies that came to mind as I was reading were John Williams and Patrick White, but like Stoner was written by the Marquis de Sade. Read it slowly, read it out loud, read it with the reverence and awe that this book deserves.

— Madeleine


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Sweet Days of Discipline Cover Image
By Fleur Jaeggy, Tim Parks (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811229036
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Published: New Directions - October 29th, 2019

A short, jagged, perfectly-formed story about a young girl in a single sex boarding school in mid-century Switzerland, Jaeggy has here written one of the finest renderings of teenage-girl friendship I've ever read, filled with all the simmering violence and lust and frustration of being sixteen years old and trapped. For lovers of Gaitskill, Lispector, de Beauvoir, and all brave survivors of girls' schools. 

— Madeleine


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The Tanners Cover Image
By Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by), W. G. Sebald (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811215893
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Published: New Directions - August 31st, 2009

Nobody - fictional or otherwise - has ever argued more compellingly than Simon Tanner that, within the interstice between youth and adulthood, one should seek not stability but bliss.

— Will


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The Quest for Christa T. Cover Image
By Christa Wolf, Christopher Middleton (Translated by)
$19.00
ISBN: 9780374515348
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 1st, 1979

Bowie liked it. I can see why. It's about a woman living in communist East Berlin attempting to reconstruct the life of her dead friend via the notebooks and jottings she left behind. There is so much unsaid, so much neither the reader nor the narrator can know about this person who has passed. The descriptions of East Berlin rhyme with Trump's America, a time when we're unable to recognize our country, our friends and neighbors, our own lives. For fans of Lispector, Chris Kraus, Ferrante, and Walser.

— Landon


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Sudden Death: A Novel Cover Image
By Álvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735213449
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Published: Riverhead Books - February 7th, 2017

Fresh, funny, soulful, raunchy, interesting, smart.

— Sarah


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Fish Soup Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781999859305
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Published: Charco Press - December 3rd, 2019

Hands-down one of the best collections I've read this year! It's made up of two novellas and seven stories, though Sexual Education (the second novella) alone is well worth the jacket price. And that has everything to do with Charlotte Coombe's translation, which so brilliantly captures the visceral, frequently unglamorous language around sex, the body, teenagerdom and the drudge of lower middle-class life - it's the kind of dazzling translation you can immediately tell the translator has found an English voice that truly works for their author. Darkly funny, feminist, and with a touch of the weird, and whether translated literature is new for you, or it's your main "genre," you can't go wrong with this delightful book

— Jacob R


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Thérèse and Isabelle Cover Image
By Violette Leduc, Michael Lucey (Afterword by), Sophie Lewis (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781558618893
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Published: Feminist Press - June 30th, 2015

The tragic French lesbian boarding school melodrama of your dreams.

— Bekah


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Half of a Yellow Sun Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400095209
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Published: Anchor - September 4th, 2007

Intense, and deeply moving. Part research, and part family lore passed down over a generation, Half of a Yellow Sun sheds light on the Nigerian Civil War from 1967-1970. Ngozi Adichie is one of the best storytellers I have ever encountered. She poured out so much knowledge and wisdom, thoughtful critique and just the right amount of Ngozi Adichie shade. I learned so much. I wept. I held my breath. And the ending was perfectly, unperfectly fitting.

— Genay


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Kintu Cover Image
By Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Aaron Bady (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781945492013
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Transit Books - May 16th, 2017

Following a family, and a family curse, through generations, Makumbi has written an epic novel of Uganda where the personal, political, and supernatural are blended so seamlessly that "magical realism" seems too coy a term to describe it. Reminiscent of Rushdie's Midnight's Children, the mystical acts as an inextricable and inexorable element of reality in Kintu, and the characters' responses to it are heartbreaking and enthralling.

— Laurel


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Friend of My Youth: Stories (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780679729570
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 1991

When Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature I asked my abuela (who has read every single one of her books) where I should start with her, and this is the one she lent to me. Now, six years later, I have finally read it, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. Here are 10 stories on women’s relationships with men (how they change and how they corrode) where Munro compacts novels into 30 pages, emotional climaxes into single sentences, each time making it seem effortless, weaving stories of not-quite-heartbreak that always leave a small pang in the chest regardless.

— David


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The Palm-Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802133632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Grove Press - December 15th, 1993

A monied young man, well-versed in the art of palm-wine imbibing, sets out to find the spirit of his dearly departed palm-wine tapster—as no one else can tap palms at the breakneck pace he drinks that sweet nectar. A fantasy-adventure delivered as Nigerian folk-tale. An experience more akin to listening to a great yarn than reading a novel.

— Tilghman


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The Transit of Venus Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780140107470
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Penguin Books - September 1st, 1990

There's a great tradition of people returning to The Transit of Venus and realizing its brilliance the second time around - Geoff Dyer and Michelle de Kretser, and now me. I first read Shirley Hazzard's novel when I was nineteen, mooning around my father's house with a head cold. I liked it fine, and retained fond memories of the two Australian sisters making their way in 1950s Europe. But it took me nearly a decade to come back to it. And my thoughts now are that maybe this is the only novel we ever needed? Like, maybe the rest of us should just give up the ghost, because Shirley Hazzard achieved perfection back in 1980. All we can do now is perform shapes and shadows of literature, genuflecting before her genius.  

— Madeleine


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The Luminaries Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316074292
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Published: Back Bay Books - October 7th, 2014

This book was written in the stars...or at least with the stars in mind. Each character in this New Zealand gold rush epic corresponds to an astrological sign, and the plot is directly informed by planetary movements on 12 days in 1865. While built on certain cliches - the Taurus is a banker and as a Taurus I say: *eye roll* - style and plot are not victims of the contrived structure. Expect seances, opium dens, murder, shipwrecks, star-crossed lovers, and plenty of secrets.

— Bekah


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The Driver's Seat Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811223010
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Published: New Directions - May 27th, 2014

Short and riveting enough to read in a day, The Driver's Seat is steeped in the weirdness of summer in a 1970s Meditteranean town, complete with Manson-like hippie figures leaving trails of macrobioic rice, paranoid women lost in malls, the constant expectation that something terrible is about to happen. 

— Madeleine


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The Parisian Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802129437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Grove Press - April 9th, 2019

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for sprawling historical novels (although this only spans about twenty years), but I'm not exaggerating in saying that it's one of the best I've ever read. Whether you're a sucker for historical fiction like me, or are a lover of decadent, thoughtful prose and characters, whatever the topic may be. But the topic is yet another point in favor of this wonderful book: it's about Palestine and its people during the British mandate era, and this Palestinian perspective on history is sorely underrepresented in English. Hammad is a ridiculously talented writer, and this is definitely a debut not to be missed.

— Jacob R


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Lolly Willowes Cover Image
By Sylvia Townsend Warner, Alison Lurie (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780940322165
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Published: NYRB Classics - September 30th, 1999

Lolly Willowes is a middle-aged spinster of the old-school variety, who all of a sudden in the mid-1920s decides to abandon her relations in London, and up and move to a forest in the Chilterns. There, she becomes a witch. This is one of the best books I have read about women in nature, and women and their aloneness - there's not a love story to speak of. Women, says Lolly to Satan one evening, "know they are dynamite" and simply long for "the concussion that may justify them." Is that not still a universal truth?

— Madeleine


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Milkman: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450000
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Published: Graywolf Press - December 4th, 2018

A brilliant book, and unputdownable. Milkman, which won the 2018 Booker Prize, is a novel about a young girl in a nonspecific war-torn place, although the non-specificity of proper nouns is part of the menacing ambiguity of what is obviously 1970's Belfast, peak-Troubles. The girl, who crosses paths with a member of the IRA, is a case study in the formlessness and fury of young girlhood, but it is also a novel that delivers you a world fully formed, lyrically dense, and funnier than anyone would lead you to believe. Rarely do I think books that win big awards are deserving of them. Milkman is.

— Madeleine


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Sphinx Cover Image
By Anne Garréta, Emma Ramadan (Translator), Daniel Levin Becker (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781941920091
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Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - April 21st, 2015

A story of dance, DJ sets, sex work, Paris, and New York. It's a philosophical and emotional striptease, a mystery, a madness made more powerful by its major conceit: this love story is told without identifying the gender(s) of its lovers.

— Landon


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The Transmigration of Bodies Cover Image
By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781908276728
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: And Other Stories - July 5th, 2016

Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye-meets-Romeo and Juliet-meets-CSI. In a plague-ridden Mexican city, a fixer for the Mob known as The Redeemer is tasked with preventing urban warfare when two rival narco families end up with the dead bodies of each other's dearest child. Yuri Herrera works magic in a mere 100 pages, transporting you to a breathtakingly realized world, where, hiding under the neo-noir surface, the real stakes are no less than the mediating limits of language itself. Herrera, himself, exceeds.

— Tom


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Monkey Grip Cover Image
By Helen Garner, Charlotte Wood (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781925773156
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Text Publishing Company - April 9th, 2019

Helen Garner is one of the greatest writers of the human heart, fierce and unsentimental, capable of stopping you short with the precision of her sentences. Monkey Grip was Garner's first novel, published in the 1970s and long out of print, but now it is back and I am delighted to be able to fling it into your arms. Monkey Grip has held a special place in my heart since I was eighteen, and this novel about a young single mother in thrall to a beautiful junkie, set in the heart of Melbourne's counter-cultural heyday, is one of the best love stories I've ever encountered

— Madeleine


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The Enchanted April Cover Image
By Elizabeth von Arnim, Cathleen Schine (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590172254
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: NYRB Classics - April 3rd, 2007

You're reading it, aren't you? Why, the ad in the paper for the Italian villa! Just think, all that wisteria and sunshine...I could kiss your cheek for the joy of it all! No, dear, it's not impossible: I can positively see us there.

— Bekah


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After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie Cover Image
By Jean Rhys, Miranda Seymour (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393357813
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 17th, 2020

Our narrator is infuriatingly passive, adrift and poor in grubby Paris hotel rooms after the failure of her latest affair (a man based on Rhys’ real-life affair with Ford Madox Ford). So she decides to return to her family in London. It goes very badly. A perfect London novel, one that presents you with a tremendously real and frustrating portrait of a woman’s life, a testament to genius written by my favorite lady recluse with a drinking problem.

— Madeleine


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The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101903506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Available to Ship to Your Home
Published: Hogarth - August 15th, 2017

The sexiest book I have ever read, while simultaneously being one of the most precise, emotional and razor-sharp. Be prepared to cry in public, God knows I did.

— Madeleine


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The Savage Detectives: A Novel Cover Image
By Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer (Translated by)
$21.00
ISBN: 9780312427481
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Published: Picador - March 4th, 2008

Like On the Road if it extended into the characters adulthood and was also brilliant. Endless, discursive, beautiful, overwhelming, a complete triumph of the imagination.

— Jacob S.


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Pond Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399575907
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Published: Riverhead Books - July 11th, 2017

Like an anti-Thoreau, the narrator of Pond, a novel-in-stories lives alone in the Irish countryside, quietly and cheerfully coming a little undone. Sensitive and deeply attuned to the world around her, Bennett's book reads a little like Lydia Davis, a little like Beckett. A one point, the narrator says that English is not her first language, that she has not yet discovered her mother tongue, and by the time I finished Pond I felt exactly the same way - tongueless, disquieted, all anew.

— Madeleine


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Our Lady of the Nile: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780914671039
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Published: Archipelago - September 16th, 2014

Our Lady of the Nile is a Catholic girl's boarding school drama of a higher magnitude, one that ends not only in sexual awakening and the pain of coming-of-age, but in genocide. Set in Rwanda in the lead-up to the 1994, Mukasonga's novel-in-vignettes slowly traces the fault lines that tear apart both the school and the country. I grew up reading British, French, and American boarding school novels (it's a weird sub-genre I have a lot of affection for), but never one like Our Lady of the Nile. With this novel Mukasonga engages with the colonial implications of the boarding school genre, asking us to see the parallels, the diversions, and the dangers of demonizing the least powerful. 

— Madeleine


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Kingdom Cons Cover Image
By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781908276926
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Published: And Other Stories - June 13th, 2017

As if Faulkner wrote murky, introspective fairy tales about the Mexican drug cartels―dark, fatalist―with buckets of post-capitalist cynicism. 

— Doug


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The Golden Notebook: A Novel (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780061582486
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Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - October 14th, 2008

 

If, like me, you finished Ferrante then flung yourself at every next book in desperation, disappointed when each failed to match that Italian's intellectual splendor then lo, here is your salve. It's a fiction as rich and tangled as real life. Were I mad I might literally consume this book one perfect page at a time in hope of gaining a mite of its wisdom and verve. Until then, a portion of my person is set aside for The Golden Notebook: for its main character, Anna Wulf, the writer who cannot write; for its ambitious, relevant structure (novels within novels within notebooks within notebooks); for the words it gave to feelings I've never dared give words. Save this for when nothing less than magnificence will do.

— Landon

 

Landon is right. If you thirst always for the heady thrills of a Ferrante novel, read The Golden Notebook, which brings the sweep of history into the bedroom and the bedroom into the sweep of history. Gender, art-making, depression, empire, the frustrated utopianism of the left—its concerns are very much today's. 

— Sam


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Fever Dream: A Novel Cover Image
By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399184604
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Published: Riverhead Books - March 6th, 2018

Masterfully crafted and downright spooky, this supernatural page-turner bores deep into two primal human fears: that man and nature are alienated from each other and it will cost us dearly, and that the children know more than us and we can't protect them, or ourselves. Try to remember what’s important.

— Tom


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A Severed Head Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140020038
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Published: Penguin Books - November 18th, 1976

Take a happily adulterous couple and their lovers, swap the sub-personal compulsion of 'elective affinities' for the horrific fatedness of Greek tragedy, and cast these poor attracted saps into the drawing rooms of mid-century Anglo-Saxondom to archly parodic results. A caustic, comic (dare I say) romp through the contradictions of bourgeois sexual morality.

— Cam


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My Heart Hemmed in Cover Image
By Marie Ndiaye, Jordan Stump (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781931883627
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Published: Two Lines Press - July 11th, 2017

If you're looking for a book where things make sense, and everything wraps up neatly and nicely, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for something disturbing, murky, uncertain, and cerebral, then Marie NDiaye is the writer for you. Her language (in Jordan Stump's excellent translation) is grotesque, looming, and decadent, seeping into every page and oozing out of every word. Once you've sunken yourself into this world of paranoia, you won't be able to stop turning the pages as you watch the madness and cruelty unfold in this small French town.

— Jacob R


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Eve Escapes Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780745650975
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Published: Polity Press - September 17th, 2012

In this exquisite tribute to her near-centenarian mother, Cixous ascends the tower of Montaigne to read its paintings, channels the dying Freud with a hallucinatory verve worthy of Broch, and weaves life and theory into a text both prayerful and replete. This is no heady existential 'dark night of the soul' trip, however, but a jour de souffrance, a distressingly intimate window into the embodied beyond that is the suffering of a loved one, and it kinda wrecked me. Fair warning.

— Cam


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Água Viva Cover Image
By Clarice Lispector, Stefan Tobler (Translated by), Benjamin Moser (Preface by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811219907
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Published: New Directions - June 13th, 2012

This book is so sharp and thin it's more knife than novel. It's poetry. It's philosophy. It's an existential roller coaster. It's like getting struck by lightning. Be careful. You may never be the same.

— Landon


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Family Lexicon Cover Image
By Natalia Ginzburg, Jenny McPhee (Translated by), Peg Boyers (Afterword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590178386
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Published: NYRB Classics - April 25th, 2017

What is the essence of family unity? For Natalia Ginzburg, it's first and foremost words, a common vocabulary, the shared life and habits they evoke. With luminous prose and extraordinary emotional sincerity, the author tells the story of her antifascist Jewish family during the dark years of Mussolini's regime. Part fiction, part memoir, Family Lexicon is funny yet deeply moving; a celebration of the time-transcending connections we make in early life - forever holding the memory of who we were, as well as the promise of who we can become.

— Edoardo


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Varamo Cover Image
By César Aira, Chris Andrews (Translated by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780811217415
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Published: New Directions - February 22nd, 2012

If you need a surreal little book about the writing process in which absolutely no writing occurs, read this one. A night of strange coincidences and long asides, told through the observations of a man with an ambitious taxidermy project, a needy mother, a pantry full of expired emergency rations, and no money except a counterfeit bill. In the end, his run-in with a pair of conniving publishers leads him to write what will later be hailed as the greatest work of Central American literature ever written. The narrative melts like hard candy in the sun, but César Aira's commentary on life, accidents, and literature is brilliant and unforgettable. 

— Nora


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Picnic at Hanging Rock Cover Image
By Joan Lindsay, Maile Meloy (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143132059
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Published: Penguin Classics - October 3rd, 2017

Picnic at Hanging Rock is better known as the super creepy and beautiful 1975 film of the same name, but I promise you the book on which it’s based is just as beautiful and creepy. More so, in fact. This is peak Australian Gothic, as though Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had sat down to write a Victorian-era murder mystery, where school girls go missing and never return, where violence permeates a world of white gloves and lace dresses, where the very landscape itself seems filled with malevolent agency.

— Madeleine


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The Story of My Teeth Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894098
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Published: Coffee House Press - September 15th, 2015

What a bizarre work: a post-meta "novel" of suggestive narratives in collaboration with workers at a factory. It questions the genesis of art and the validity of narrative. Both maddeningly abstruse and revelatory, I was baffled and angry with it, though at times in deep, layered love.

— Doug


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Arturo's Island: A Novel Cover Image
By Elsa Morante, Ann Goldstein (Translated by)
$27.95
ISBN: 9781631493294
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Published: Liveright - February 19th, 2019

Often overshadowed in her lifetime by her husband Alberto Moravia, I am here to tell you Elsa Morante is a much better writer than her husband ever was, and like Lucia Berlin and Clarice Lispector her work is now being republished, and rightfully reclaimed by history. Arturo's Island is Morante's second published novel - and my most loved of her books. It is translated into English for the first time by Ferrante's translator Ann Goldstein (the very name Elena Ferrante is infamously an homage to Morante, her idol), and the connections are clear - Morante's prose has all the intensity and solemn melodrama of Ferrante, but the world of Arturo's Island is more dreamlike, savage, an absolute pleasure to live inside for as long as the pages last. 

— Madeleine


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A Loving, Faithful Animal Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781936787579
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Published: Catapult - September 12th, 2017

A little while back a coworker came up to me, placed a collection of Josephine Rowe’s short stories in my hands, and said “Read this.” I did, and the moment I finished them I wanted more. So I went and read her novel, and it was just as great. Filled with sentences that never go how you expect and prose that nestle themselves in the brain, Rowe crafts a bleak but honest account of life in small town Australia. The way family shapes you, the scars it gives you, and the haunting effect trauma has on you. Equally more bewitching and brutal than it looks, A Loving, Faithful Animal lingers within long after you finish it.

— David


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The Dry Heart Cover Image
By Natalia Ginzburg, Frances Frenaye (Translated by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9780811228787
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Published: New Directions - June 25th, 2019

A little novella with a lot of emotional heft and complexity. The narrator, a woman in postwar Italy, pines for companionship, deals with the indifference of egocentric men, and discovers that lust and revulsion often go hand in hand. With its intimate candidness and unadorned style, The Dry Heart feels like a first-person Jeanne Dielman.

— Cosmo


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Kassandra and the Wolf Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566567718
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Published: Clockroot Books - November 23rd, 2009

A story told by the scariest 6-year old you know about how she got that way. Horrifying, hilarious, and essential. It'll make you feel like a kid again; I can think of nothing more terrifying.

— Landon


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Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran Cover Image
By Shahrnush Parsipur, Shirin Neshat (Preface by), Faridoun Farrokh (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781558617537
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Published: Feminist Press - January 10th, 2012

Five women living very different lives in late 20th century Iran escape men to find strength and sensitivity in themselves and each other. My favorite character is also a tree. My next favorite can read minds. There is tragedy, yes, but there is far more magic, mindfulness, and courage.

— Landon


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Will and Testament: A Novel (Verso Fiction) Cover Image
By Vigdis Hjorth, Charlotte Barslund (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781788733106
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Published: Verso Fiction - September 10th, 2019

This book is a sensation of the Norwegian trend "reality literature," which sees thinly veiled real life expanded into fiction. So thinly veiled is the story that Testament has inspired a rebuttal novel from Hjorth's sister (yet to be translated into English but similarly a hit in Scandinavia). It's thus an appropriate form for narrator Bergljot, whose family inheritance dispute drags up a dark secret that has  long splintered the family. Bergjot navigates the haze of repressive fictions within and around herself. A ferociously compassionate and compulsively readable account of the aftermaths of abuse, as well as an interrogation of civility & the family as apparatus of repression, Will & Testament is fluid in every way, indicting the unjust and impossible cruelty of not choosing a side, without ever abandoning the humanity of its characters.

— Gleb


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Unquiet: A Novel Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393357653
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 14th, 2020

Linn Ullmann's parents were Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann. It is necessary that you should know this from the very start. Unquiet, by turn, is an astonishingly good piece of autofiction about having grown up the daughter of one of the world's most famous filmmakers, and the daughter of his discarded muse. It is a book about grief and loss and memory, told with the precision and insight of Lydia Davis or Siri Hustvedt. A novel for anybody with complicated parental relationships - this book might help alleviate the burden.

— Madeleine


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The True Deceiver Cover Image
By Tove Jansson, Ali Smith (Introduction by), Thomas Teal (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590173299
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Published: NYRB Classics - December 8th, 2009

What a cunning little novel about the slippery concept of 'being honest.' The portrait of small town Scandinavian winter that Jansson paints is deep, delicious, and shrouded in mystery.

— Maddie


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Life and Fate Cover Image
By Vasily Grossman, Robert Chandler (Introduction by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781590172018
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Published: NYRB Classics - May 16th, 2006

Some books are time machines. This is one of those books. Follow the Shaposhnikov family and their friends as war flings them mercilessly to the various frayed edges of Soviet Russia (and beyond). If you're willing to brave the darkest chapter in recent history, you'll be rewarded with an epic story that swallows you whole. Tender and wry, modest and immense, bursting with sentiment and satire, often heartbreaking but never boring—this book may change your life. 

— Maddie


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The Slynx Cover Image
By Tatyana Tolstaya, Jamey Gambrell (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590171967
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Published: NYRB Classics - April 17th, 2007

This weird Russian novel imagines humanity some 200 years after the cataclysmic Blast. Slapstick but cynical, Tolstaya writes like Bolaño, but a Bolaño tripping balls on LSD instead of heroin - they share a sentimental nihilism, or a precise tossed-offedness. In other words, instead of lists of dead girls, we get straight-faced descriptions of people's post-nuclear Consequences, like nostrils sprouted on knees and extra legs. This book is hilarious and tragic, bizarre and bizarrely moving. (There is, I think, a little Benedikt in all of us.)

— Sam


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We Cover Image
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Clarence Brown (Translated by), Clarence Brown (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140185850
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Published: Penguin Classics - August 1st, 1993

Often cited as the primary influence on George Orwell's 1984 (with famed occult writer Colin Wilson going so far as to say that he doubted Orwell's volume would have found publication in the United Kingdom had there been a decent English translation of this book available at the time), We is an innovative, passionately pro-democratic novel on its own terms. Both an imaginative exploration of human consciousness and a vehement argument against totalitarianism - the creeping of which was well underway at the time and place of its writing in the Soviet Union of the 1920's - We was almost impossibly ahead of its time, and - sadly - is all too timely, present day. Read and remember: there can be no final revolution!

— Jasper


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NP Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802124425
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Published: Grove Press - September 18th, 2018

Banana Yoshimoto's short and delicate novel discusses broken families, taboo love affairs, suicide, and overcoming loss, yet her characters approach these topics as if they were common and familiar, emphasizing on human relationships and mutual understanding, all while navigating through the everyday musings and passing thoughts during Japan's lost generation. Reading this feels like you're alone drinking coffee with a friend on a dark rooftop in Tokyo, feeling the crisp air of a deep blue night, holding tight and not wanting it to ever end.

— Kestin


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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780679775430
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Published: Vintage - September 1st, 1998

Despite half of the book taking place at the bottoms of various wells it will grab you, kind of in a weird way that you're not really sure you like and then you adjust to it and are like, "You know this isn't bad and maybe I want 400 more pages of Murakami reaching inside his characters and tugging out the weirdest, most wriggly bits."

— Landon


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Territory of Light: A Novel Cover Image
By Yuko Tsushima, Geraldine Harcourt (Translated by)
$24.00
ISBN: 9780374273217
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 12th, 2019

I recently encountered Yūko Tsushima in the wonderful Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories. I was stunned—her voice was so fresh, so different from the others, and so alive, I felt like someone was speaking directly into my ear. As luck would have it, that very story is the penultimate chapter in her newly-translated 1979 novel. The novel as a whole is no less compelling than the story, and is distinguished by the same brilliant but enigmatic clarity: like peering down into a perfectly clear lake, and not being able to see the bottom.

— Maddie


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The Seventh Day: A Novel Cover Image
By Yu Hua, Allan H. Barr (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804172059
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Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

Having just crossed over, Yang Fei arrives in the afterlife which acts more as a waiting room for people who have yet to be cremated back on earth. Here, he meets the souls of people he's lost, whose stories from their lives offer us thoughtful observations of modern China. The stories, while often tragic, are told all so beautifully... and they show that when the physical world of greed, power, and status is removed, we're left with only the most fundamental aspects of our life: empathy, compassion, and human bonding.

— Kestin


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Let the Great World Spin: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812973990
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 30th, 2009

McCann’s nostalgia for the present is palpable throughout this novel: a series of intensely moving short stories working in concert to create a portrait of the day Philippe Petit walked between the Twin Towers. A lonely Irish immigrant working to improve the lives of sex-workers in his doomed Christ-like pursuit of holiness, a wealthy Park Avenue mother who is trying to deal with the loss of her son to a war she doesn’t understand, and an artist couple obsessed with living in the past because they can’t cope with the present, all coalesce. Fantasy at odds with truth, poetry merging with prose, and tragedy unfolding before the beautiful backdrop of a city built upon the very ideas that would lead a man to walk a tight-rope between two skyscrapers.

— Jeff