BookSeriesList
MacLehose Press

The President's Gardens

Muhsin Al-Ramli
Authors:
Muhsin Al-Ramli

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting". Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ. On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death?The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror.Translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren

MacLehose Press

The Awkward Squad

Sophie Hénaff
Authors:
Sophie Hénaff

Suspended from her job as a promising police officer for firing "one bullet too many", Anne Capestan is expecting the worst when she is summoned to H.Q. to learn her fate. Instead, she is surprised to be told that she is to head up a new police squad, working on solving old cold cases.Though relieved to still have a job, Capestan is not overjoyed by the prospect of her new role. Even less so when she meets her new team: a crowd of misfits, troublemakers and problem cases, none of whom are fit for purpose and yet none of whom can be fired.But from this inauspicious start, investigating the cold cases throws up a number of strange mysteries for Capestan and her team: was the old lady murdered seven years ago really just the victim of a botched robbery? Who was behind the dead sailor discovered in the Seine with three gunshot wounds? And why does there seem to be a curious link with a ferry that was shipwrecked off the Florida coast many years previously?Translated from the French by Sam Gordon

MacLehose Press

Vernon Subutex 1

Virginie Despentes
Authors:
Virginie Despentes

WHO IS VERNON SUBUTEX?An urban legend. A fall from grace. The mirror who reflects us all.Vernon Subutex was once the proprietor of Revolver, an infamous music shop in Bastille. His legend spread throughout Paris. But by the 2000s his shop is struggling. With his savings gone, his unemployment benefit cut, and the friend who had been covering his rent suddenly dead, Vernon Subutex finds himself down and out on the Paris streets.He has one final card up his sleeve. Even as he holds out his hand to beg for the first time, a throwaway comment he once made on Facebook is taking the internet by storm. Vernon does not realise this, but the word is out: Vernon Subutex has in his possession the last filmed recordings of Alex Bleach, the famous musician and Vernon's benefactor, who has only just died of a drug overdose. A crowd of people from record producers to online trolls and porn stars are now on Vernon's trail.Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

MacLehose Press

Nevada Days

Bernardo Atxaga
Authors:
Bernardo Atxaga

Nevada Days is a fictionalised account of Atxaga's nine months' stay as writer-in-residence at the Centre for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada. He is accompanied by his wife, Ángela, who is also doing research there, and by their two daughters. During their first few weeks, the family encounter a strange mapache (racoon), which is always staring at them from the garden, a flight of helicopters immediately overhead, a black widow spider, a warning about bears, a party of prisoners in the desert, a lake that is somehow far too calm and too blue, and, not long into their stay, the kidnap and murder of a young girl living in the house right next door.Atxaga tells us about all these strange encounters, and about his colleagues at the university, about the trips the family make to California and across the Sierra Nevada and to Lake Tahoe, but this narrative is also interspersed with accounts of his dreams, with stories from his past.Nevada Days seductively weaves together past and present, and shows us how deeply marked we are by experience and history and relationships, however fleeting or enduring, and reminds us what a very strange thing life is.Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa

MacLehose Press

After the War

Hervé Le Corre
Authors:
Hervé Le Corre

1950's Bordeaux. Even now, the Second World War is never far from people's memories, particularly in a city where the scars of collaboration and resistance are more keenly felt than ever. But another war has already begun. A war without a name, far away across the sea, in Algeria, where young men are sent to fight in a brutal conflict.Daniel knows what awaits him. He's heard stories. Patrols, ambushes, reprisals, massacres, mutilations, all beneath a burning north African sun. He has just a month left before he leaves but, haunted by the loss of his parents and sister in the atrocities of the last war, Daniel questions why he is even going to fight in the first place.Meanwhile, past crimes are returning to haunt Albert Darlac, the godfather of Bordeaux: corrupt police chief, fascist sympathiser and one-time collaborator. Before long, a series of explosive events will set off a spiral of violence that will bring the horrific legacy of wars past and present to the streets of Bordeaux.Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

MacLehose Press

The House with the Stained-Glass Window

Zanna Sloniowska
Authors:
Zanna Sloniowska

Amid the turbulence of 20th century Lviv, meet four generations of women from the same fractious family, living beneath one roof and each striving to find their way across the decades of upheaval in an ever-shifting city. First there is Great-Granma, tiny and terrifying, shaped by a life of exile, hardship and doomed love, now fighting to keep her iron grip on the lives of her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. Then there is Aba, arthritic but devoted; cowed and despised by her mother, her one chance of happiness thwarted and her hopes of studying painting crushed. Thirdly, Marianna, the brilliant opera star: bold, beautiful and a fearless crusader for Ukrainian independence, who is shot during a demonstration and whose life and martyrdom casts a shadow upon the young life of the fourth and final woman, her daughter.More important even than these four women though is the character of the city of Lviv (or Lwów, or Lvov, depending on the point in history). A city of markets and monuments, streets and spires, where history and the present collide, civilisations clash and stories rise up on every corner. Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

MacLehose Press

The Impostor

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas

Who is Enric Marco? An old man from Barcelona who claims to be a Nazi concentration camp survivor and rises to be president of Spain's leading Holocaust survivor movement, the Friends of Mauthausen. By the time he is unmasked in Austria in 2005 on the eve of the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the camp, he has become a civic hero, speaking at hundreds of conferences, granting dozens of interviews, receiving state honours, publishing a successful memoir and even moving Spanish congressmen to tears at a memorial homage to Republicans deported by the Third Reich. The case shocked the world, and Enric Marco was labelled a great imposter to which he responded: "I am an impostor, but not a fraud."A decade later, Javier Cercas addresses the enigma of the man, his truths and lies, and, through an investigation that unravels Spain's history in the twentieth century, delves with passion and unflinching honesty into that deepest part of human nature - our infinite capacity for self-deception, our need for conformity, our lies, our insatiable thirst for affection and our opposing needs for fiction and reality.The Impostor is an extraordinary novel that not only tells Marco's self-deluding story, but also challenges the reader to consider how truthful any of us is in the way we present ourselves in daily life. Are we not all, asks Cercas, the novelists of our own lives?Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne

MacLehose Press

After the Winter

Guadalupe Nettel
Authors:
Guadalupe Nettel

A shy young Mexican woman moves to Paris to study literature. Cecilia has few friends, and a morbid fascination with watching the funerals taking place in the cemetery outside her apartment. She suddenly strikes up a close platonic relationship with her neighbour, a sickly young man who shares her interest in death and believes we can communicate with the dead. After coming to entirely depend on him for company and routine, Cecilia is left devastated by his decision to go to Sicily for his health, and is left alone in an unfriendly city once more.Claudio, meanwhile, lives in New York with the submissive, quiet, but very wealthy Ruth. She makes few demands of him, whilst acquiescing to all his desires and indulging his obsessive, misogynistic nature. He meets Cecilia by chance whilst visiting a friend in Paris and these two very different stories collide with transformative consequences.Translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

MacLehose Press

One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Roland Schimmelpfennig
Authors:
Roland Schimmelpfennig

A contemporary Berlin fairy tale that bristles with urban truths ? the first novel of Germany's best-known contemporary playwright One clear ice-cold January morning shortly after dawn, a wolf crosses the border between Poland and Germany. His trail leads all the way to Berlin, connecting the lives of disparate individuals whose paths intersect and diverge. On an icy motorway eighty kilometres outside the city, a fuel tanker jack-knifes and explodes. The lone wolf is glimpsed on the hard shoulder and photographed by Tomasz, a Polish construction worker who cannot survive in Germany without his girlfriend. Elisabeth and Micha run away through the snow from their home village, crossing the wolf's tracks on their way to the city. A woman burns her mother's diaries on a Berlin balcony. And Elisabeth's father, a famous sculptor, observes the vast skeleton of a whale in his studio and asks: What am I doing here? And why? Experiences and encounters flicker past with a raw, visual power, like frames in a black and white film. Those who catch sight of the wolf see their own lives reflected, and find themselves searching for a different path in a cold time. This first novel of Germany's most celebrated contemporary playwright is written in prose of tremendous power and precision. Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

MacLehose Press

The Oblique Place

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum
Authors:
Caterina Pascual Söderbaum

The Oblique Place is an exceptional literary journey, an achingly beautiful fusion of memories and history unlike any other. "Caterina Pascual Söderbaum has left a major European literary work of art as her legacy, a work of art that all of us who had the privilege of getting to know her have now been able to behold in its final form" STEVE SEM-SANDBERG, author of Emperor of LiesFrom idyllic Attersee in Austria, where the employees at Nazi extermination camps are sent for a well-deserved rest, to Schloss Hartheim, where the staff of the regime's euthanasia programme forget, with the help of alcohol and sex, the horrors that take place there, to Villa Saint-Jean, the summer residence where malnourished children from France's internment camps are sent to recover. In Uppsala, a woman scours her mother's albums for photographs of her christening, taken in the family's flat in Spanish Lérida. In one she is resting in her father's arms. In the next he toasts the camera, dressed in the uniform of Franco fascism and with his right arm extended. A whole family history in just a few photographs: a grandfather who joined Hitler's army; a father who dreamed of war and ended up in the Spanish Sahara; a mother who shares her surname with Kristina Söderbaum, a celebrated film star of the Third Reich. And the child in a white christening gown, who will become a mother herself and one day walk along the shores of the Attersee. In evocative prose that examines whether guilt can be passed down through generations, the late Caterina Pascual Söderbaum explores how Europe lost itself in a period of darkness.Translated from the Swedish by Frank Perry

MacLehose Press

The Lizard Strategy

Valerio Varesi
Authors:
Valerio Varesi

Parma is blanketed in snow, but this pristine, white veneer cannot mask the stench of corruption. Its officials are no longer working for its people - only for themselves - crime is out of control and resentment festers in every district. Commissario Soneri remains at heart an idealist, so the state of Parma wounds him more than most. And now he is presented with three mysteries at once, each more impenetrable than the last. In a river creek on the outskirts of the city, tipped off by a local, he finds a mobile phone that rings through the night but holds no data; an elderly patient with senile dementia is reported missing from a hospice; and the mayor of Parma, who was reported as taking a holiday on the ski slopes, has disappeared off the face of the earth - just when he seemed certain to be implicated in a seismic corruption scandal at city hall.

MacLehose Press

Belladonna

Daša Drndic
Authors:
Daša Drndic

Andreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, full of empathy, but his world has been falling apart for years. When he retires with a miserable pension and finds out that he is ill, he gains a new perspective on the debris of his life and the lives of his friends. In defying illness and old age, Andreas Ban is cynical and powerful, and in his investigations into his own past, he learns stories told by the disempowered, hunted down and helpless, stories that uncompromisingly lay bare a gamut of taboos.In Belladonna, Dasa Drndic pushes to the limit the issues about illness and the (im)possibility of living (and dying) in contemporary, utterly dehumanised world where old age and illness are the scarlet letters of shame thrown in the face of the advertised eternal youth and beauty. Belladonna brings together fiction and reality, and Andreas Ban stands for a true hero of our times; he is a castaway intellectual of a society which subdues every critical thought under the disguise of political correctness.

MacLehose Press

Winds of the Night

Joan Sales
Authors:
Joan Sales

"Perhaps the worst thing about war is the peace that follows . . ."Winds of the Night is the follow-up, published almost thirty years later, to Joan Sales' acclaimed masterwork of the Spanish Civil War, Uncertain Glory.It describes the shell-shocked wasteland that was post-war Catalonia through the eyes of Cruells, a Republican chaplain who survives the war, and completes his theological studies only to lose his faith in a world where it seems all hope has been extinguished.As he struggles to function as a rural priest, his steps are dogged by a ghostly figures from his past, such as Lamoneda, a fascist agent provocateur who now hobnobs with Himmler and misses few opportunities to turn the febrile post-war atmosphere to his financial advantage. Against his wishes, Creulls is drawn into obsessive dialogues about the war in which only lunacy prevails, for Lamoneda seems to hold the key to the whereabouts of an old friend - the mercurial Juli Soleràs, whose charisma, for all his betrayals, still holds Cruells in thrall.An essential coda to the modern classic that is Uncertain Glory, Winds of the Night is a Beckettian vision of the traumas of combatants and country hidden beneath the rhetoric of the victors.Translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush

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