Daša Drndic - Belladonna - Quercus

Belladonna

By Daša Drndic

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

A timely parable on the perils of growing old and infirm in an unforgiving modern world - by the author of the acclaimed Trieste

An excoriating work of fiction that references the twentieth century's darkest hours.

Andreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, 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 unravelling of his own past and the lives of others, he uncompromisingly lays bare a gamut of taboos.

Andreas Ban stands for a true hero of our times; a castaway intellectual of a society which subdues every critical thought under the guise of political correctness. Belladonna addresses some of the twentieth century's worst human atrocities in a powerful fusion of fiction and reality, the hallmark of one of Europe's finest contemporary writers.

Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth

Biographical Notes

Dasa Drndic is a distinguished Croatian novelist, playwright and literary critic, author of radio plays and documentaries. She is the author of Trieste (2012) and Leica Format (2015). Trieste was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2013, and has now been translated into many languages.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857054340
  • Publication date: 20 Apr 2017
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
A very fine novel, wise and brave. Her fiction is very powerful statement fiction, and yet somehow the quality, the humanity, the playfulness actually counters the polemical intent. This is an extraordinary book. — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
This book is literature with a capital L and Drndic is a miracle maker conjuring some optimism from despair and charm amid the grisly — M. Bartley Seigal, Words Without Borders
Drndic stares directly into the inky sins of us all and doesn't blink. Belladonna is a thrilling book. Unforgettable in the seamless way the author combines the real world and the fictional until it no longer matters because, in the end, all of it is the truth. — Mark Haber, Quarterly Conversation
This panoramic work by Drndic is less a novel than a life's worth of reminiscences annotated with photographs and copious footnotes, reminiscent of the works of Aleksandar Hemon and W.G. Sebald . . . This work may well be the national novel of Croatia. — Publishers Weekly.
A pensive, provocative novel of history, memory, and our endlessly blood-soaked times by one of the foremost writers to have emerged from the former Yugoslavia . . . An elegant novel of ideas concerning decidedly inelegant topics, empathetic but unforgiving. — Kirkus Reviews
MacLehose Press

Inhuman Resources

Pierre Lemaitre
Authors:
Pierre Lemaitre
MacLehose Press

Stick Together

Sophie Hénaff
Authors:
Sophie Hénaff
riverrun

Testament

Kim Sherwood
Authors:
Kim Sherwood

Winner of the Bath Novel AwardThe letter was in the Blue Room - her grandfather's painting studio, where Eva spent half her childhood. After his death, she is the one responsible for his legacy - a legacy threatened by the letter she finds. It is from the Jewish Museum in Berlin.They have found the testimony her grandfather gave after surviving the labour camps in Austria. And, since he was one of Britain's greatest twentieth century artists, they want to exhibit it. But Joseph Silk - leaving behind József Zyyad - remade himself long ago. As Eva begins to uncover the truth, she understands the trauma, and the lies, that have haunted her family. She will unravel what happened to József and his brother, who came to England as refugees. One never spoke of his past - the other couldn't let it go. Their story - and that of the woman they both loved - is in her hands. Revealing it would change her grandfather's hard-won identity. But it could also change the tide of history. This testament has the power to make sense of grief, and teach her how to live.Kim Sherwood's extraordinary first novel is a powerful statement of intent. Beautifully written, moving and hopeful, it crosses the tidemark where the third generation meets the first, finding a new language to express love, loss and our place within history.

riverrun

All Rivers Run Free

Natasha Carthew
Authors:
Natasha Carthew

Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
riverrun

Almost Love

Louise O'Neill
Authors:
Louise O'Neill

From the ground-breaking, bestselling author of ASKING FOR IT and ONLY EVER YOURS comes an unforgettable new novel about how dangerous, painful and addictive love can be. When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.So it doesn't matter that he's twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she's sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him. Sarah's friends are worried. Her father can't understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she's on the verge of losing her job.But Sarah can't help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew. And love is supposed to hurt. Isn't it?

riverrun

Seventeen

Hideo Yokoyama
Authors:
Hideo Yokoyama

FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SIX FOUR: AN INVESTIGATIVE THRILLER SET AMID THE AFTERMATH OF AN AIR DISASTER - PERFECT FOR FANS OF SPOTLIGHT AND AFTER THE CRASH.'He's a master' New York Times Book Review'Very different . . . to almost anything out there' Observer1985. Kazumasa Yuuki, a seasoned reporter at the North Kanto Times, runs a daily gauntlet against the power struggles and office politics that plague its newsroom. But when an air disaster of unprecedented scale occurs on the paper's doorstep, its staff are united by an unimaginable horror, and a once-in-a-lifetime scoop.2003. Seventeen years later, Yuuki remembers the adrenaline-fuelled, emotionally charged seven days that changed his and his colleagues' lives. He does so while making good on a promise he made that fateful week - one that holds the key to its last unsolved mystery, and represents Yuuki's final, unconquered fear.

MacLehose Press

Zen and the Art of Murder

Oliver Bottini
Authors:
Oliver Bottini
MacLehose Press

The Time in Between

Marcello Fois
Authors:
Marcello Fois
MacLehose Press

Leica Format

Daša Drndic
Authors:
Daša Drndic

This is like a fairy tale, all this. A woman meets a stranger who tells her her identity is a lie. 772 (or 789) children's brains rest silently in jars. A traveller comes to a quotidian city, unknowingly approaching her past. From the author of Trieste (shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) comes this bedazzling kaleidoscopic novel, stitching together fact and fiction, history and memory, words and images into a heart-breaking collage that manages to look askance at the blinding horror of history. Ranging across themes of memory, loss, inheritance and storytelling, Drndic borrows from every tradition of writing to weave together a fragmented narrative of love and disease, in a novel that's very format raises penetrating and unanswerable questions about history, and the processes by which we describe and remember it.

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

Quercus

The Eternal City

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa
Jo Fletcher Books

The Crow Garden

Alison Littlewood
Authors:
Alison Littlewood

Susan Hill meets Wilkie Collins in Alison Littlewood's latest chiller: mad-doctor Nathaniel is obsessed with the beautiful Mrs Harleston - but is she truly delusional? Or is she hiding secrets that should never be uncovered . . . ?Haunted by his father's suicide, Nathaniel Kerner walks away from the highly prestigious life of a consultant to become a mad-doctor. He takes up a position at Crakethorne Asylum, but the proprietor is more interested in phrenology and his growing collection of skulls than the patients' minds. Nathaniel's only interesting case is Mrs Victoria Harleston: her husband accuses her of hysteria and delusions - but she accuses him of hiding secrets far more terrible.Nathaniel is increasingly obsessed with Victoria, but when he has her mesmerised, there are unexpected results: Victoria starts hearing voices, the way she used to - her grandmother always claimed they came from beyond the grave - but it also unleashes her own powers of mesmerism . . . and a desperate need to escape.Increasingly besotted, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a world of séances and stage mesmerism in his bid to find Victoria and save her.But constantly hanging over him is this warning: that doctors are apt to catch the diseases with which they are surrounded - whether of the body or the mind . . .There's an amazing sense of place and time in this novel, as Littlewood perfectly captures the literary style, attitudes, and class consciousness of Victorian England' - Publishers Weekly

MacLehose Press

The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles

Roy Jacobsen
Authors:
Roy Jacobsen

'A compact and compelling novel by an iconic Norwegian writer...[and] thanks to Don Bartlett and Don Shaw's crisp translation, we see it obliquely' - IndependentSet in Finland in 1939, this is the story of one man who remains in his home town when everyone else has fled, burning down their houses in their wake, before the invading Russians arrive. Timo remains behind because he can't imagine life anywhere else, doing anything else besides felling the trees near his home. This is a novel about belonging - a tale of powerful and forbidden friendships forged during a war, of unexpected bravery and astonishing survival instincts. The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles is not a novel about war, but about the lives of ordinary people dragged into war, each of whom only wants to find the path back home. Roy Jacobsen uses the dramatic natural landscape of light and darkness, fire-blazing heat and life-robbing cold to spectacular effect.

Quercus

A Perfect Husband

Hilary Boyd
Authors:
Hilary Boyd

What would it take for you to give up on the man you love, the man you thought was the perfect husband - until you discovered just how much he was hiding from you? Lily and Freddy have a wonderful relationship: passionate and fun. Freddy taught her to love again after the death of her father. But then Freddy becomes tense, snappy and distracted. Is he having an affair? The truth turns out to be much worse...Freddy is addicted to gambling. He owes hundreds of thousands of pounds to loan companies; he's been helping himself to money from his own company, which has now gone bust; and worst of all, his wife's money - given to him to invest - is gone. Devastated, Lily leaves him, and moves to stay with her sister in Oxford. There, among the dreaming spires, she will clear her head of Freddy and try to figure out how to move on.But being away from Freddy is far harder than she'd thought. He promises to get help, but can he really ever be cured of his addiction? How can Lily trust him again - surely, after the heartache he's caused her, she would be far better off walking away and starting again? The truth is, she is as addicted to Freddy as he is to gambling - and she's not sure she even wants to be free.

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

Quercus

The Early Birds

Laurie Graham
Authors:
Laurie Graham
MacLehose Press

The Awkward Squad

Sophie Hénaff
Authors:
Sophie Hénaff
riverrun

Minds of Winter

Ed O'Loughlin
Authors:
Ed O'Loughlin
MacLehose Press

Raoul Wallenberg

Ingrid Carlberg
Authors:
Ingrid Carlberg

An Honorary Citizen of the U.S.A., and designated as one of the Righteous among the Nations by Israel, Raoul Wallenberg's heroism in Budapest at the height of the Holocaust saved countless lives, and ultimately cost him his own.A series of unlikely coincidences led to the appointment of Wallenberg, by trade a poultry importer, as Sweden's Special Envoy to Budapest in 1944. With remarkable bravery, Wallenberg created a system of protective passports, and sheltered thousands of desperate Jews in buildings he claimed were Swedish libraries and research institutes.As the war drew to a close, his invaluable work almost complete, Wallenberg voluntarily went to meet with the Soviet troops who were relieving the city. Arrested as a spy, Wallenberg disappeared into the depths of the Soviet system, never to be seen again.For this seminal biography, Ingrid Carlberg has carried out unprecedented research into all elements of Wallenberg's life, narrating with vigour and insight the story of a heroic life, and navigating with wisdom and sensitivity the truth about his disappearance and death.Translated from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg