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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My Bones and My Flute—A Ghost Story in the Old-Fashioned Manner: Edgar Mittelholzer

Published by Peepal Tree “In this instant my trance of introspection vanished. I knew it was actually happening. I stood and listened. There could be no doubt. It had nothing of the imaginary about it. It was a flute, clear, leisurely, distant. A tuneless, wandering trickle of treble notes coming from out of the trees …

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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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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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Mother’s Beloved—Stories from Laos: Outhine Bounyavong

Translated from Lao by Bounheng Inversin, Roger Rumpf, Jacqui Chagnon, Thipason Phimviengkham and William GallowayPublished by University of Washington Press A poor cobbler finds a way to make his contribution to his country's war effort; a young man offers strangers lifts on his bicycle; and a young woman tries to return a silver belt she …

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The Death of the Perfect Sentence: Rein Raud

Translated from Estonian by Matthew HydePublished by Vagabond Voices On 20 August 1991, Estonia formally declared its independence from the Soviet Union, even as Soviet authorities were trying to crush this movement. Set during the last days of the Soviet Union in Estonia, The Death of the Perfect Sentence follows freedom fighters, students, KGB operatives …

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Of Strangers and Bees: Hamid Ismailov

Translated from Uzbek and Russian by Shelley Fairweather-VegaPublished by Tilted Axis Press “Life in exile! May it be cursed. Once you have become a stranger, a stranger you shall remain; you may endeavour to make friends, but the task is a difficult one, full end to end with uncertainty.” One night, Uzbek writer Sheikov dreams …

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Love after Love: Ingrid Persaud

Published by Faber Books Domestic abuse, homophobia, family secrets...and love. Ingrid Persaud packs it all into this novel set in Trinidad. Betty was married to Sunil, an abusive man, who didn’t stop at hurting his wife but also hit his young son. “That man gave you love you could feel. He cuff you down? Honeymoon. …

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