Compiled by Carrina LaCorata and Maggie Zebracka.
A mysterious character from the city arrives at a peaceful country village, attracting the interest of Josu, a young adolescent. José Luis, the newly arrived vicar, is the ideal mentor for any rebellious boy with a curious heart. More comfortable sneaking around and spying on people from the rooftops, than playing with others in the mud, Josu delves into the memories of the newly arrived vicar’s troubled past.
“I smiled and my fangs glistened. I put the rifle back in its place and grabbed the tightly knotted sack with the chicken inside. As I had imagined, he didn’t have the guts to open it.”
Julio José Ordovás’ skillfully woven and fearless narrative tells of an unlikely friendship between two rebellious characters at different times in their lives. His debut novel promises an unrestrained, uncensored narration, leaving nothing untold. Taken from the adult Josu’s perspective, this nostalgic narration demonstrates the author’s striking ability to present a spectrum of human emotions with distinct ironic undertones.
– Dalkey Archive
Julio José Ordovás was born in 1976 in Zaragoza, a city in which he still resides. He is a contributor to the supplement Cultura in La Vanguardia and the magazines Clarin and Turia. He has published seven books.
Christian Martin-Roffey works in Information Technology in Dublin, Ireland. This is his first book-length translation to be published in English.
After both their marriages collapse, two old friends take to sharing their life again as they used to. They go out for drinks, have long conversations and, all in all, try to hide way from the world. One day, one of them is stabbed to death in his apartment. His friend will then seek out the truth.
– Hispabooks Publishing
Carlos Castán is a Spanish writer born in Barcelona in 1960. He is considered one of the best short-story writers in Spain at the moment. Bad Light is his first novel. He lives in Zaragoza.
Michael McDevitt was a runner-up on the inaugural Harvill Secker/Granta Young Translators’ Prize. He has translated work by Elvira Navarro, Agustín Fernández Mallo and Luisge Martín, among others. His translations have been published by Two Lines Press, The White Review, Hispabooks and OpenRoad/Group Planeta. He lives in Madrid.
1970: In an overcrowded Stockholm subway station, a harried father and his two boys are late for their train. Joel, the youngest, is howling in his stroller and his seven-year-old brother, Kristoffer, refuses to take the elevator.
A woman approaches and helpfully offers to lead Kristoffer up the stairs. Reluctantly his father agrees, but when he arrives on the platform Kristoffer and the woman have vanished without a trace. The kidnapping becomes a national sensation, but the boy is never found . . .
Today: Joel, now an adult, goes missing in suspicious circumstances. His frantic wife turns to Danny Katz–an old friend with a troubled past–for help. A brilliant computer programmer and recovering heroin addict, Katz is also the divorced father of two young girls. Katz begins to dig behind the digital veil in search of Joel, even though the investigation quickly interferes with his duties as a parent. Before long, Katz discovers he isn’t the only one trying to find Joel.
The deeper Katz digs, the more upsetting the secrets he uncovers about the wealthy and powerful family at the heart of the investigation. Chillingly, the case takes a violent turn that reveals a disorienting connection to Katz’s own troubled childhood–soon there will be no backing out of his unofficial investigation.
Carl-Johan Vallgren is one of Sweden’s most loved writers. He has been awarded the Swedish August Prize for Best Novel of the Year, and has been translated into 25 languages. He’s also a talented musician with Warner Music.
Rachel Willson-Broyles is a freelance translator based in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her BA in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2002 and her Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Her other translations include Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s novel Montecore and Jonas Jonasson’s The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, among many others.
In a wrecked modern version of a romance novel, acclaimed French writer Virginie Despentes pokes at the simultaneous ecstasy and banality of love in an age of psychiatry and punk.
Gloria lives in seething rage, lashing out at everyone—particularly, a string of bewildered boyfriends—at the local bar. But when her latest explosion leaves her out on the street, she unexpectedly runs into famed television personality Eric Muir. Incidentally, he’s also her teenage boyfriend, and the one who started it all.
Once upon a time, Gloria and Eric met while institutionalized, and then became a mascot couple for those homeless and high on a noisy mix of drugs, music, and counterculture. Now, twenty years later, Gloria is enamored by youthful love resurrected and determined to immortalize their story by writing a screenplay. Whisked away to Paris, she’s transformed from a provincial loose cannon into an urbane party guest. But navigating life and love isn’t any easier for the middle-aged. Cutting deep to unearth the marriage of institutional violence and heterosexual relationships, Bye Bye Blondie illustrates how young women are continuously dragged down and neglected, and then dangled false offers of fame in lieu of real, redemptive recognition.
– Feminist Press
Virginie Despentes is an award-winning author and filmmaker, and a noted French feminist and cultural critic. She is the award of many award-winning books, including Apocalypse Baby (winner of the 2010 Prix Renaudot) and Vernon Subutex (winner of the Anaïs-Nin Prize 2015, Prix Landerneau 2015, Prix La Coupole 2015). She also co-directed the screen adaptations of her controversial novels Baise-Moi and Bye Bye Blondie.
Sian Reynolds has translated many books on French history, including most of the works of Fernand Braudel. Recent translations include fiction by Virginie Despentes, Antonin Varenne and French crime novelist, Fred Vargas. Four Vargas translations have been awarded the Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger (2006, 2007, 2009, 2013). She is professor emerita of French at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
The Divan of Ghalib by Dutch poet Nachoem Wijnberg is not an imitation of Ghalib, but written in a form that adopts some core characteristics of the ghazal. Like Ghalib, he is not afraid of simple words and often-used symbols but uses them afresh.
– White Pine
Nachoem Wijnberg has published sixteen books of poetry and five novels.
David Colmer‘s translations include Advance Payment by Wijnberg and Even Now, poems by Hugo Claus.
On a day as any other, a devoted family man leaves his apartment to buy some coffee and goes strangely missing for a number of days. While his wife is desperately looking for him, and trying to understand his disappearance, he finds himself trapped in another woman’s dreams. Two people, Emilija and Petar, casual acquaintances leading ordinary lives in a small provincial town, meet in Emilija’s dreams without really knowing how or why their paths have so strangely crossed. As their encounters follow one another, they become aware of the spiritual and emotional emptiness that exists within each of them and they slowly come to each other’s rescue. Will they allow their connection transcend the metaphysical domain to attain the real and corporeal?
Fragile Travelers is a compelling story of an improbable intimacy between two people, introduced and closed by an omniscient narrator but told almost entirely in the alternating voices of Emilija and Petar. With its subtle lyricism and well paced humor, Fragile Travelers takes you on a journey that explores the emotional emptiness of the modern man, but gives its protagonists a chance to search for a meaningful existence―if nowhere else―at least in dreams.
– Dalkey Archive
Jovanka Zivanovic was born in 1959 in Teocin – Gornji Milanovac municipality, Serbia. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Kragujevac. She lives in Cacak. Fragile Travelers is her first work translated into English.
Jovanka Kalaba is a graduate student at the University of Belgrade in the department of Philology. This is her first book-length translation published in English.
This novel, by one of Italy’s bestselling crime novelists, provides a unique perspective on the criminal and social dynamics that dominate contemporary Italy.
One of the many robberies that plague Northeast Italy goes wrong and ends with a brutal murder. The police investigation turns up nothing. Two years later, Marco Buratti, alias “the Alligator,” is asked to look into the crime and find out who was responsible.
Buratti’s employer is young, the youngest client he has ever had; he is only twelve years old and is the son of one of the victims. The Alligator realizes right from the start that the truth is cloaked, twisted, shocking. Together with his associates, Beniamino Rossini and Max the Memory, he finds himself mixed up in a story involving contraband gold and blood vendettas between criminal gangs.
– Europa Editions
Massimo Carlotto was born in Padua, Italy. In addition to the many titles in his extremely popular “Alligator” series, he is also the author of The Fugitive, Death’s Dark Abyss, Poisonville, Bandit Love, At the End of a Dull Day. One of Italy’s most popular authors and a major exponent of the Mediterranean Noir novel, Carlotto has been compared with many of the most important American hardboiled crime writers.
Antony Shugaar is an author and translator. Among his current and recent translations are The Internet and the Madonna (University of Chicago Press, 2005), Words Are Stones: Three Days in Sicily (by Carlo Levi, Hesperus Press, London, 2004), Fleeting Rome: In Search of La Dolce Vita (by Carlo Levi, John Wiley, London, 2004), Niccolo’s Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2000), and The Judge and the Historian: Marginal Notes on a Late-Twentieth-Century Miscarriage of Justice (by Carlo Ginzburg, Verso, 1999). He is also a freelance journalist, and reviews for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post.
Johanne, Johanne is an SMS-novel about a young woman’s flight from the often mundane reality of everyday existence and her knife-edge attempt at forging an identity for herself in a lifestyle obsessed big city environment, where unlimited options seem available at every turn: freedom, career, excitement, sex, love, security, husband and babies, “whatever”.
The book follows Johannes’s life for nine months via her SMS messages (and only hers) to the somewhat older Jonas, who fulfills her dream of a huge sweeping illicit love affair, but also forces her to make some fateful choices. Much is possible, but how much is wise?
A very cleverly constructed, multi-layered story that initially reads as a sexting novel but soon confronts every reader with a range of much deeper questions. A smartphone mirror into the way we live right now, where 50 shades of Grey is shocked to meet Flaubert and Kierkegaard in digital space.
– Dalkey Archive
Lars Sidenius trained as a professional photographer before deciding to study at the Danish National School of Performing Arts. He has not only appeared in a large number of theatre productions but also feature films and TV-series such as, amongst other things, ‘The Killing’. Since 2001, Lars has worked for the Danish Arts Agency as a special consultant in the fields of children’s literature and international projects. He also recently completed a Masters degree in children’s literature. Johanne, Johanne is his debut novel.
Paul Larkin worked for five years in the Danish Merchant Navy before taking a degree in Scandinavian and Celtic Studies. Larkin then went on to train as a film director with the BBC. He had a long career in journalism and film/documentary making before going back to work with Scandinavian languages and fiction in general as a translator, literary critic and author.
The English-language debut from one of Denmark’s most exciting, celebrated young writers, One of Us Is Sleeping is a haunting novel about loss in all its forms.
Working in the vein of Anne Carson, Josefine Klougart’s novel is both true-to-life and incredibly poetic in its relating of a brief, intense love affair and the grief and disillusionment that follow its end. While she recounts the time with her lover, the narrator is also heading back home, where her mother is dying of cancer. This contrast between recollection and the belief that certain things will always be present in your life—your parents, your childhood home, your love—and the fact that life is a continual series of endings runs throughout the book, underpinning the striking imagery and magnificent prose.
A powerful novel that earned Klougart numerous accolades and several award nominations—including the Readers Book Award—One of Us Is Sleeping marks the launch of a major new voice in world literature.
– Open Letter
Author of four best-selling novels, Josefine Klougart (b. 1985) has been hailed as one of Denmark’s greatest contemporary writers. She was the first Danish author ever to have two of her first three books nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize, Scandinavia’s most prestigious award. Her work has also been nominated for the Readers’ Book Award, and she received the Danish Royal Prize for Culture in 2011 with the committee stating that she is “one of the most important writers, not just of her generation, but of her time.” She’s been compared to a range of authors, including Joan Didion, Anne Carson, and Virginia Woolf.
Martin Aitken has translated dozens of books from the Danish, including works by Dorthe Nors, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Peter Høeg, Pia Juul, and Kim Leine, among others. He was awarded the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Translation Prize, and was longlisted for both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
An expatriate professor, Vega, returns from exile in Canada to El Salvador for his mother’s funeral. A sensitive idealist and an aggrieved motor mouth, he sits at a bar with the author, Castellanos Moya, from five to seven in the evening, telling his tale and ranting against everything his country has to offer. Written in a single paragraph and alive with a fury as astringent as the wrath of Thomas Bernhard, Revulsion was first published in 1997 and earned its author death threats. Roberto Bolano called Revulsion Castellanos Moya’s darkest book and perhaps his best: “A parody of certain works by Bernhard and the kind of book that makes you laugh out loud.”
– New Directions
Horacio Castellanos Moya was born 1957 in Honduras. He has lived in San Salvador, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico (where he spent ten years as a journalist, editor, and political analyst), Spain, and Germany. In 1988 he won the National Novel Prize from Central American University for his first novel. His work has been published and translated in England, Germany, El Salvador and Costa Rica. He has published ten novels and is now living in exile as part of the City of Asylum project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Lee Klein’s fiction, essays, reviews, and translations have appeared in various publications. His novel The Shimmering Go-Between was published in 2014 by Atticus Books.
A tragicomic odyssey told through free association scrubs the depths of the human psyche to achieve a higher level of consciousness equal to Zen meditation. The story opens when our sleepless narrator thwarts a would-be thief outside his moonlit window, then delves into his subconscious imagination to explore a variety of geographical and mental locations—real, unreal, surreal—to explore the very nature of reality.
– Deep Vellum
Jung Young Moon was born in Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea in 1965. He graduated from Seoul National University with a degree in psychology. He made his literary début in 1996 with the novel A Man Who Barely Exists. Jung is also an accomplished translator who has translated more than forty books from English into Korean, including works by John Fowles, Raymond Carver, and Germaine Greer. In 1999 he won the 12th Dongseo Literary Award with his collection of short stories, A Chain of Dark Tales. In 2005 Jung was invited to participate in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, and in 2010 the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Korean Study invited him to participate in a three-month-long residency program. in 2012, he won the Han Moo-suk Literary Award, the Dong-in Literary Award, and the Daesan Literary Award for his novel A Contrived World, which is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive, who also published his short story collection A Most Ambiguous Sunday and Other Stories in 2014.
Jung Yewon was born in Seoul, and moved to the US at the age of 12. She received a BA in English from Brigham Young University, and an MA from the Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
From international bestselling author, Alessandro Baricco, comes a scintillating and sensual novel about a young woman’s ingress into a fantastically strange family.
The hand of the young woman in question has been promised to the scion of a noble family. She is to make her preparations for marriage at the family’s villa, where the inhabitants never seem to sleep. The atmosphere turns surreal as the days pass and her presence on the family estate begins to make itself felt on her future in-laws.
In this erotically charged and magical novel, Alessandro Baricco portrays a cast of mysterious characters who exist outside of the rules of causation as he tells a story, an adult fable, about fate and the difficult job of confronting the Other and creating an Us.
– Europa Editions
Alessandro Baricco, beloved by readers worldwide for his innovative take on magical realism, his atmospheric novels and memorable characters, is one of Italy’s bestselling and most critically acclaimed authors. His novels include Silk (Vintage, 1998), An Iliad (Vintage International, 2006), and Mr. Gwyn (McSweeney’s, 2014).
Ann Goldstein is an American editor and translator from the Italian language. She is best known for her translations of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet.
Carrina LaCorata has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina with a major French and a minor in Theater and a Master’s degree from New York University in Literary Translation: French to English. She is currently working on building her career as a freelance translator (and hopes that literary translation will be a part of that). Carrina is excited to be an intern with ALTA and learn more about the literary translation world.
Maggie Zebracka is a graduate of Wellesley College and Vanderbilt University. Originally from southeastern Poland, she currently lives and writes in West Texas.