Elena Knows: Claudia Piñeiro

Translated from Spanish by Frances RiddlePublished by Charco Press “She has to take the train into the city at ten o’clock...right after the medication has managed to persuade her body to follow her brain’s orders.” Elena is a woman with advanced Parkinson’s. Her daughter Rita was found hanging from the belfry in the local church. …

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Checkpoint: David Albahari

Translated from Serbian by Ellen Elias-BursaćPublished by Restless Books “We had no choice but to continue doing what we’d come there to do: guard and watch over the passing of people and goods through the checkpoint. To be honest, we hadn’t even been told whether the checkpoint was on a border lying between two countries …

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Nostalgia: Mircea Cărtărescu

Translated from Romanian by Julian SemilianPublished by Penguin This collection of three short stories and two novellas, set mainly in Bucharest, was written during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s regime and published in 1989, the year his regime fell. Nostalgia was originally published under the title Visul ("The Dream"), which seems appropriate: the pieces are fairly dreamlike and …

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Older Brother: Daniel Mella

Translated from Spanish by Megan McDowellPublished by Charco Press In the summer of 2014, during one of the biggest storms to hit the coast of Uruguay, Alejandro is killed in a lightning strike. Ale, as he was known, was aware that there was an electrical storm brewing. He worked as a lifeguard and knew how …

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Without Ever Reaching the Summit: Paolo Cognetti

Translated from Italian by Stash LuczkiwPublished by Harvill Secker and HarperOne The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s book about his trip to the Dolpo region in the Himalayas, was published in 1978. It is a blend of travelogue, philosophy and nature writing. Almost four decades later, in 2017, Paolo Cognetti sets off on a similar journey …

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The Silence of the Rain: Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza

Translated from Portuguese by Benjamin MoserPublished by Picador Ricardo Carvalho, a well-to-do executive, gets into his car in a multistoried car park in Rio de Janeiro, smokes a cigarette and then shoots himself. He leaves behind a gun, a briefcase, 20,000 dollars and a note to the police.  The note says that Ricardo wants the …

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The Taiga Syndrome: Cristina Rivera Garza

Translated from Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva KanaPublished by And Other Stories “‘But you must know about the taiga syndrome, right?’ he asked...‘It seems,’ he continued, almost whispering, ‘that certain inhabitants of the taiga begin to suffer terrible anxiety attacks and make suicidal attempts to escape.’ He fell silent, though it seemed like …

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Small World: Martin Suter

Translated from German by Sandra HarperPublished by Vintage Konrad Lang is losing his memory to Alzheimer’s. As his recent memories fade, earlier ones come to the fore. This has Elvira Koch worried. There are secrets buried in Konrad’s mind which, if he unearths, could bring down her business empire. Konrad has lived with the Koch …

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Tomb of Sand: Geetanjali Shree

Translated from Hindi by Daisy RockwellPublished by Tilted Axis Press Tomb of Sand is the story of Ma, an 80-year-old woman who comes into her own after spending her life in roles dictated by society: as daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. When the book begins, Ma’s husband has died. So she takes to her bed, …

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This Tilting World: Colette Fellous

Translated from French by Sophie LewisPublished by Les Fugitives “[B]ut now it’s over, my novel is damaged, the world is damaged, I too am deeply wounded, something has happened here, something real, but everything can still begin, everything can begin again, I firmly believe it... “I must tell this before tomorrow, I must bear witness …

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