Black Water Lilies: Michel Bussi

Translated from French by Shaun Whiteside Giverny: a beautiful, picturesque village in France, known for its most famous resident, the impressionist painter Claude Monet, who is famous for his paintings of water lilies. Artists and tourists flock to the village to see the beautiful gardens that Monet painted. But death appears in even the most …

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Tyll: Daniel Kehlmann

Translated from German by Ross Benjamin The jester or trickster is a ubiquitous figure, popping up in mythologies, literature, street theatre, and in playing cards and tarot. He (it’s almost always a man) is an entertainer, mentally and physically agile, and able to speak truth to power. He lives by his wits and is a …

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The Desert and the Drum: Mbarek Ould Beyrouk

Translated from French by Rachel McGill “There was no moon, no stars. The light has been drained away, the sky left mute. I could distinguish neither colours nor shapes. Dunes and trees had been engulfed by the universe, sucked into its sidereal blackness. … I welcomed the obscurity; a gift from nature. It would make …

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Dissipatio H.G.—The Vanishing: Guido Morselli

Translated from Italian by Frederika Randall What would happen to the planet if the entire human race was to disappear? In this novella, Guido Morselli imagines a world empty of people. The book is narrated by the one man who seems to have been spared. The unnamed narrator lives near a mountain village in an …

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The Baltimore Boys: Joël Dicker

Translated from French by Alison Anderson Marcus Goldman is a successful writer who has moved to Florida to write his next book. But he is haunted by his past: his point of reference is a “tragedy”, and he measures time from the event. Ever since he can remember, Marcus has looked up to the Baltimore …

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The Shape of the Ruins: Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Translated from Spanish by Anne McLean "There are truths that don’t happen in those places, truths that nobody writes down because they’re invisible. There are millions of things that happen in special places… they are places that are not within the reach of historians or journalists. They are not invented places… they are not fictions, …

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The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World: Peter Wohlleben

Translated from German by Jane Billinghurst One day, Peter Wohlleben, a forester, stumbles across what he thinks are mossy stones but turn out to be old wood. But not just old wood, which would normally decompose, but the roots of a tree that no longer existed, that had probably been felled 400 years ago. He …

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Small Memories—A Memoir: José Saramago

Translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa José Saramago was born in 1922 in Azinhaga, a village in Portugal. The village has a charter that dates back to the thirteenth century, “but nothing remains of that glorious ancient history except the river that passes right by it”. The name comes from the Arabic “as-zinaik” meaning …

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The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo: Germano Almeida

Translated from Portuguese by Sylvia Glaser “The reading of the last will and testament of Sr. Napumoceno da Silva Araújo ate up a whole afternoon. When he reached the one-hundred-and-fiftieth page, the notary admitted he was already tired…[H]e complained that the deceased, thinking he was drafting his will, had instead written down his memoirs.” Which …

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Men without Women: Haruki Murakami

Translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goosen “Here's what hurts the most," Kafuku said. "I didn't truly understand her—or at least some crucial part of her. And it may well end that way now that she's dead and gone. Like a small, locked safe lying at the bottom of the ocean. It hurts …

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