Caterina Pascual Söderbaum - The Oblique Place - Quercus

The Oblique Place

By Caterina Pascual Söderbaum

  • Paperback
  • £14.99

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" STEVE SEM-SANDBERG, author of Emperor of Lies

The Oblique Place is an exceptional journey, an autobiographical novel that probes the ruinous legacies of Fascist Europe in the twentieth century.

From a starting point of the discovery of photographs in a family album ­- of a grandfather who joined Hitler's army, of her Spanish father dressed in the Francoist uniform - Caterina Pascual Söderbaum explores her connections to the most abhorrent passages of twentieth-century history. Her mother was a cousin of Kristina Söderbaum, a celebrated Swedish film star of the Third Reich, adored by Goebbels.
She travels with husband and child to the shores of idyllic Attersee in Austria, where the officers of extermination camps spent their holidays, and from Schloss Hartheim, where the staff of the Nazi euthanasia programme forgot, with the help of alcohol and sex, the horrors that took place there, to Villa Saint-Jean, a summer residence where malnourished children from France's internment camps were sent to recover.

An exploration into her own family's disturbing history is fused with vividly captured episodes, and the threads of evil that she lays bare she describes in language so beautiful, so subtle and painterly, that her odyssey is at once shattering and mesmerising.

Translated from the Swedish by Frank Perry

Biographical Notes

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum, 1962-2015, lived between Sweden and Spain and worked as a translator of Swedish literature into Spanish. Her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Sonetten om andningen (The Sonett on Breathing) (Lejd förlag, 2002), won Sweden's Catapult Prize for best first work of fiction. The Oblique Place was to be her last novel, and was awarded the prestigious Sveriges Radios Novel Prize posthumously.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857057235
  • Publication date: 20 Sep 2018
  • Page count: 432
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
As I was being drawn into this shimmering, meandering, luminescent novel I felt impatience and reverence in equal measure . . . initially, I would read a few pages and put the book down, only then to be unable to tear myself away, unwilling to stop being inside it . . . every page, every person, a space - a place - to be in, the experience lives on outside the pages of the book . . . The whole world can be found in Caterina Pascual Söderbaum's An Oblique Place — Anna Jörgensdotter, Arbetarbladet
A novel constructed on a grand scale, with rare architectonic ambition and finesse, a novel that inhabits its own world — Kristoffer Leandoer, Svenska Dagbladet
Getting a glimpse of truly great writing is always earth shattering. It is both exhilarating and gruelling. Where should I start? With the images, with the thoughts, with the insights? With the language, that rises like the mountains around me. Majestic. Impregnable. And appealing. Caterina Pascual Söderbaum's novel communicates this feeling. — Maria Schottenius, Dagens Nyheter
MacLehose Press

Madeleine

Euan Cameron
Authors:
Euan Cameron

Family history has always been a mystery to Jo Latymer. His father flatly refused to talk about it, and with no other relatives to consult, it seems that a mystery it shall always remain. Until of course, Jo meets Ghislaine, his beautiful French cousin, in a chance encounter that sends him headlong into the life of his longlost grandfather, Henry Latymer. Reading Henry's old letters and diaries for the first time, Jo discovers an idealistic young man, full of hopes and optimism - an optimism that will gradually be crushed as the realities of life under the Vichy regime become glaringly clear.But the more Jo delves into Henry's past, and into France's troubled history, the darker the secrets he discovers about his grandfather become, and the more he has cause to wonder if sometimes, the past should remain buried.

MacLehose Press

The Monarch of the Shadows

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas
riverrun

Prefecture D

Hideo Yokoyama
Authors:
Hideo Yokoyama
Jo Fletcher Books

Hearts of Ice

David Hair
Authors:
David Hair
riverrun

Against Nature (riverrun editions)

Joris-Karl Huysmans
Authors:
Joris-Karl Huysmans

The cult novel of fin de siècle decadence that inspired Oscar Wilde'It will be biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't give a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before.' Joris-Karl Huysmans on Against Nature The title page of the first complete English translation of Against Nature (published in the French as À Rebours) included the caption 'the book that Dorian Gray loved and inspired Oscar Wilde.' It was, declared Wilde, one of the best novels he had ever read. It is the story of Jean des Esseintes, the last of a proud and noble family, who retreats from the world in disgust at bourgeois society and leads a life based on cultivation of the senses through art. Des Esseintes distills perfumes from the rarest oils and essences, he creates a garden of poisonous flowers, sets gemstones in the shell of a tortoise's gold-painted shell and plans to corrupt a street urchin until he is degraded enough to commit murder. Des Esseintes aesthetic pilgrimage is described in minutely documented realistic detail and was widely regarded as the guidebook of decadence. This influential novel is now available in a startling new translation by Theo Cuffe and includes a new preface by Luc Sante.

MacLehose Press

Farewell to El Comandante

Alberto Barrera Tyszka
Authors:
Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Venezuela 2012: The President's illness casts a shadow over the lives of his citizens - he divides opinion, but life without him is almost unimaginable. Miguel Sanabria is a retired oncologist, ambivalent towards the President but caught between a virulently anti-Chávez wife and a equally vehement pro-Chávez brother. He is asked by his nephew to hide a mobile phone carrying secret footage that could shed new light on the President's condition.His neighbour Fredy has found a fresh angle for a new book about Chávez, but to take advantage he must agree to a "green-card" marriage and leave his girlfriend and their son for two months, even as their landlady plots to repossess their home.In another apartment live nine-year-old María and her neurotic, near-agoraphobic mother. Taken out of school to be educated at home, María turns to internet chat rooms for company, while her mother's fears about the city's endemic violence are proved tragically prescient.The fates and fortunes of these neighbours will prove inextricably entwined as the hour of the President's death draws ever closer.REVIEWS FOR THE SICKNESS"A great book" Michael Morpurgo"Powerful themes and powerful writing" Susan HillTranslated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

Jo Fletcher Books

Our Child of the Stars

Stephen Cox
Authors:
Stephen Cox

A lost child, the family who try to protect him and the secret that refuses to stay hidden . . .Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation. Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town - and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.And soon the whole world will be looking for him.Cory's arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.A remarkable story of warmth, tenacity and generosity of spirit, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, terrifying decade.

MacLehose Press

A Long Night in Paris

Dov Alfon
Authors:
Dov Alfon
riverrun

A River in the Trees

Jacqueline O'Mahony
Authors:
Jacqueline O'Mahony

Two women.Two stories.One hundred years of secrets. A sweeping novel of love, loss, family and history for readers who love Maggie O'Farrell, John Boyne and Donal Ryan 1919Hannah is nineteen years old and living on her family's farm in West Cork. Her peaceful world is shattered forever by the eruption of the War of Independence, Ireland's bid for freedom from Britain. Hannah's family hide rebel soldiers in their attic, putting them in great danger from the Black and Tans who roam the countryside. An immediate connection between Hannah and O'Riada, the leader of this band of rebels, will change her life and that of her family forever.2019Ellen is at a crossroads in her life: her marriage is in trouble, her career is over and she's grieving the loss of a baby. After years in London, she decides to come home to Ireland to face the past she has always tried to escape. Her journey centres on an old house in the countryside, a house that used to belong to her family. Reaching into the past, she feels a connection to her aunt, the mysterious Hannah O'Donovan. But why won't anyone in her family talk about Hannah? And how can this journey help Ellen put her life back together?

Quercus

Winter Without You

Beth Good
Authors:
Beth Good

A winter warmer for fans of Heidi Swan, Daisy James and Sarah Morgan. When Hannah's life falls apart, only a surprise inheritance will keep her together.Hannah Clitheroe thought she had it all. But when tragedy strikes and she loses the love of her life in a horrifying accident, all her dreams come crashing down around her.Hannah is still in hiding from the world when she discovers that she's inherited a house in Cornwall from her estranged grandmother. If Hannah's going to keep Kernow House and make a new life for herself, she'll have to stay the hell away from Raphael Tregar, a man who claims the house is rightfully his.As the two are forced to unite, will the secrets they uncover bring them closer together, or will they tear their whole world apart?

Quercus

SAS Italian Job

Damien Lewis
Authors:
Damien Lewis
MacLehose Press

EEG

Daša Drndic
Authors:
Daša Drndic
Quercus

The Rival

Charlotte Duckworth
Authors:
Charlotte Duckworth
Quercus

Darling Blue

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees

'Tracy Rees writes from the heart' Kathryn Hughes, author of The Letter. Perfect for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Villa in Italy.Blue lives a charmed life. From her family's townhouse in Richmond, she lives a life of luxury and couldn't want for anything - well, on the surface at least. Then on the night of her twenty-first birthday her father makes a startling toast: he will give his daughter's hand to whichever man can capture her heart best in the form of a love letter. But Blue has other ideas and, unwilling to play at her father's bewildering games, she sets out on her own path to find her own destiny...(P)2018 Quercus Editions Limited

MacLehose Press

All the Lives We Never Lived

Anuradha Roy
Authors:
Anuradha Roy

"The book everyone is talking about for the summer" Lorraine Candy, Sunday TimesA beautifully written and compelling story of how families fall apart and of what remains in the aftermath . . . [by] . . . a writer of great subtlety and intelligence. - Kamila Shamsie, Guardian.In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman" - so begins the story of Myshkin and his mother, Gayatri, who is driven to rebel against tradition and follow her artist's instinct for freedom.Freedom of a different kind is in the air across India. The fight against British rule is reaching a critical turn. The Nazis have come to power in Germany. At this point of crisis, two strangers arrive in Gayatri's town, opening up for her the vision of other possible lives. What took Myshkin's mother from India to Dutch-held Bali in the 1930s, ripping a knife through his comfortingly familiar environment? Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, Myshkin comes to understand the connections between anguish at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism. Anuradha Roy's enthralling novel is a powerful parable for our times, telling the story of men and women trapped in a dangerous era uncannily similar to the present. Impassioned, elegiac, and gripping, it brims with the same genius that has brought Roy's earlier fiction international renown."One of India's greatest living authors" - O, The Oprah Magazine"Roy's writing is a joy" - Financial Times

Quercus

Her Mother's Secret

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley

'A beautifully written story of loss and love, Her Mother's Secret is Rosanna Ley at her best' My WeeklyEscape to the heart of enchanting Brittany with the bestselling author of The Villa and The Little Theatre by the Sea. The perfect treat for fans of Santa Montefiore and Veronica Henry.For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland - the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany - afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea's failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done? Despite Colette's wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother's flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette's mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret - one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

MacLehose Press

After the Winter

Guadalupe Nettel
Authors:
Guadalupe Nettel
MacLehose Press

A Hero Born

Jin Yong
Authors:
Jin Yong
riverrun

The World to Come

Jim Shepard
Authors:
Jim Shepard

A fantastic writer - compassionate, funny and fearless' George Saunders'One of the US's finest writers' according to Joshua Ferris, Jim Shepard now delivers a new collection that spans borders and centuries with unrivalled mastery. These ten stories ring with voices as diverse as those belonging to Arctic explorers in history's most nightmarish expedition, the Montgolfier brothers competing to be the first man to fly, and two American frontierswomen whose passionate connection is severed by jealous husbands and a deadly snowstorm.In each case the personal is the political as these humans, while falling in love or negotiating marital pitfalls or simply coming to terms with their own failings, face the tidal wave of nature's indifference and cruelty. History has swept them from our sympathy; Jim Shepard has reached into the past and sought them out.In his first collection to be published in the UK, this celebrated master of the short story displays his formidable acuity in imagining these wildly different worlds, and what our various lives feel like in the grip of catastrophe.

MacLehose Press

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair

Joël Dicker
Authors:
Joël Dicker

August 30, 1975. The day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence. That summer, struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that made him a household name. Quebert is the only suspect. Marcus Goldman - Quebert's most gifted protégé - throws off his writer's block to clear his mentor's name. Solving the case and penning a new bestseller soon merge into one. As his book begins to take on a life of its own, the nation is gripped by the mystery of 'The Girl Who Touched the Heart of America'. But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.