The Eastern European Beach Read!
Back by popular demand! When you’re setting out to enjoy a summer day at the beach, it’s important to have the essentials: sunblock, chilled drinks, a big towel—and perversely grotesque tales from former Eastern Bloc nations! Start with the East German Wolfgang Hilbig, compared to W.G. Sebald by The New York Times and declared “an artist of immense stature” by László Krasznahorkai. Then go all in on the surrealistic, darkly hilarious Richard Weiner, ranked alongside Kafka by the legendary Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. And last of all, become immersed of Lidija Dimkovska’s very Balkan saga of two identical twins conjoined at birth—and destined to be split.
Translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole
Doppelgängers, a murderer’s guilt, pulp noir, fanatical police, and impossible romances—these are the pieces from which German master Wolfgang Hilbig builds a divided nation battling its demons. Delving deep into the psyches of both East and West Germany, The Sleep of the Righteous reveals a powerful, apocalyptic, utterly personal account of the century-defining nation’s postwar struggles.
Translated from Macedonian by Christina Kramer
It is 1984, and twelve-year-old twins Zlata and Srebra live in communist Yugoslavia. In many ways their lives are like that of young girls anywhere, except for one immense difference: Zlata’s and Srebra’s bodies are conjoined at their heads.
A Spare Life tells the story of their emergence from girls to young adults, from their desperately poor, provincial childhoods to their determination to become successful, independent women. After years of discovery and friendship, their lives are thrown into crisis when an incident threatens to destroy their bond as sisters. They fly to London, determined to be surgically separated—but will this dangerous procedure free them, or only more tightly ensnare them?
Translated from Czech by Benjamin Paloff
Called “The Man of Pain” by the sci-fi author Karel Čapek (who popularized the word “robot”), Richard Weiner is one of European literature’s best-kept secrets. The Game for Real marks the long overdue arrival of his dreamlike, anxiety-ridden fiction into English.