Europa Edition Books have long been my favorite imprint for translated fiction. The stories are always well-written, diverse and the stories are ones that make you think and or reflect. I've probably read at least 30 of their books and own at least another 30 (which look beautiful on my shelves). These (4) are new ones that either came out this month or will release in September or October. I plan to read all 4.
Which of these would you try?
(about the book)
From the best-selling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog comes a story about a woman's journey to discover the father she never knew and a love she never thought possible.
Rose has just turned forty when she gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father’s will. And so for the first time in her life she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father’s assistant, is waiting to greet her.
As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, her bitterness and anger are soothed by the stones and the trees in the Zen gardens they move through. During their walks, Rose encounters acquaintances of her father—including a potter and poet, an old lady friend, his housekeeper and chauffeur—whose interactions help her to slowly begin to accept a part of herself that she has never before acknowledged.
As the reading of the will gets closer, Rose’s father finally, posthumously, opens his heart to his daughter, offering her a poignant understanding of his love and a way to accept all she has lost.
NOTE - I've read and enjoyed previous books by this author.
Following the international success of Ties and the National Book Award-shortlisted Trick, Domenico Starnone gives readers another searing portrait of human relationships and human folly.
Pietro and Teresa’s love affair is tempestuous and passionate. After yet another terrible argument, she gets an idea: they should tell each other something they’ve never told another person, something they’re too ashamed to tell anyone. They will hear the other’s confessions without judgment and with love in their hearts. In this way, Teresa thinks, they will remain united forever, more intimately connected than ever.
A few days after sharing their shameful secrets, they break up. Not long after, Pietro meets Nadia, falls in love, and proposes. But the shadow of the secret he confessed to Teresa haunts him, and Teresa herself periodically reappears, standing at the crossroads, it seems, of every major moment in his life. Or is it he who seeks her out?
A master storyteller and a novelist of the highest order, Starnone’s gaze is trained unwaveringly on the fault lines in our public personas and the complexities of our private selves. Trust asks how much we are willing to bend to show the world our best side, knowing full well that when we are at our most vulnerable we are also at our most dangerous.
NOTE: I've read both of the previous books by this author and enjoyed them so much. This one was translated from the Italian by author Jhumpa Lahiri.
(about the book)
From the author of the “wonderfully ingenious” (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review) novel After The Crash comes a brilliant work of deception that dives deep into the psyche of a child and cruel game of manipulating a person’s memory.
Four-year-old Malone Moulin is haunted by nightmares of being handed over to a complete stranger and begins claiming his mother is not his real mother. His teachers at school say that it is all in his imagination as his mother has a birth certificate, photos of him as a child and even the pediatrician confirms Malone is her son. The school psychologist, Vasily, believes otherwise as the child vividly describes an exchange between two women. Vasily begins recording their conversations and reinterprets the creatures Malone uses in the childish tales he recounts to his stuffed toy to piece the story together as much as he can.
Convinced that Malone is telling the truth, Vasile approaches police commander Marianne Augresse with the case, who has been searching for a gang of thieves that robbed a luxury store and left a couple dead in the neighboring town of Deauville to no avail. Not knowing why a child would lie and with perhaps her own own maternal and protective instinct kicking in, Marianne takes Vasile’s plead for help seriously.
Marianne and her team soon discern that Malone’s memory is in the hands of those around him; the cold members of the Moulin family and the people that they associate themselves with. With Malone’s recollection of the past quickly fading to give way to pirates, animals and other more innocent thoughts children have at his age, Marianne is desperate to find a through line.
Well-crafted and showcasing the fragility of a child’s cognition, The Double Mother is a riveting investigation to follow.
No Touching; Ketty Rouf
Europa Editions - release date - 8/1/21
(about the book)
A story of liberation and a heartrending portrayal of a woman’s sense of self, Ketty Rouf’s extraordinary debut shatters tired prejudices about sex, women, and society.
Josephine teaches philosophy in a high school in Drancy, a suburb of Paris. Her life is a balancing act between Xanax, Propranolol and Tupperware lunches in the staff room. The directives of the National Education Board are increasingly absurd and intolerable and she follows them with playfulness at times and derision at others.
When, one evening, Josephine walks into a strip club on the Champs-Elysée, her life is completely overturned. There she learns a secret nocturnal code of conduct; she discovers camaraderie and the joys of female company; and she thrills at the sensation of men’s desire directed toward her. Josephine, a teacher by day, begins to lead a secret existence by night that ultimately allows her to regain control of her life. This delicate balance is shattered one evening by an unexpected visitor to the club where she dances.