|Dimensions||199 × 132 × 19 mm|
“Queer writing at its most exhilarating.” ―Times Literary Supplement
The slums of Buenos Aires, the government, the mafia, the Virgin Mary, corrupt police, sex workers, thieves, drug dealers, and debauchery all combine in this sweeping novel deemed a ‘revelation for contemporary literature’ and ‘pure dynamite’ (Andrés Neuman, author of Traveller of the Century & Talking to Ourselves).
When the Virgin Mary appears to Cleopatra, she renounces sex work and takes charge of the shantytown she lives in, transforming it into a tiny utopia. Ambitious journalist Quity knows she’s found the story of the year when she hears about it, but her life is changed forever once she finds herself irrevocably seduced by the captivating subject of her article. Densely-packed, fast-paced prose, weaving slang and classical references, Slum Virgin refuses to whitewash the reality of the poor and downtrodden, and jumps deftly from tragedy to comedy in a way that has the reader laughing out loud.
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Gabriela Babnik’s novel Dry Season breaks the mould of what we usually expect from a writer from a small, Central European nation. With a global perspective, Babnik takes on the themes of racism, the role of women in modern society and the loneliness of the human condition. Dry Season is a record of an unusual love affair. Anna is a 62-year-old designer from Slovenia and Ismael is a 27-year-old from Burkina Faso who was brought up on the street, where he was often the victim of abuse. What unites them is the loneliness of their bodies, a tragic childhood and the dry hamartan season, during which neither nature nor love is able to flourish. She soon realizes that the emptiness between them is not really caused by their skin colour and age difference, but predominantly by her belonging to the Western culture in which she has lost or abandoned all the preordained roles of daughter, wife and mother. Sex does not outstrip the loneliness and repressed secrets from the past surface into a world she sees as much crueller and, at the same time, more innocent than her own. Cleverly written as an alternating narrative of both sides in the relationship, the novel is interlaced with magic realism.
‘I am sitting on the twenty-fourth storey of a hotel in Singapore. I am having a very serious nervous breakdown…’
If you want to know why the hero of A.P. Wolf’s riotous novel is going quietly insane in a concrete tower block, you’ll have to read Vagabond. It’s a story of twenty four hour piss-ups, cock fights, mah-jong, and unsafe sex in the kampongs and back-alleys of old Singapore. It features a pair of dogs called Rape and Pillage, a cat called Shitbag, a very large and very dangerous monkey, a crazed older brother called Dave, a posse of under-age and over curious daughters of local army officers, various murderous Marines, and Richard Chan, the most awe inspiring man in all Singapore. And one hell of a lot of Tiger beer.
And it all ends… well, badly.
The City Always Wins is a remarkable novel from the psychological heart of a revolution. From the communal highs of pitched night battles against the police in Cairo to the solitary lows of defeated exile in New York, Omar Robert Hamilton’s debut is a unique immersion into one of the key chapters of the 21st century.
Bringing to life the 2011 Egyptian revolution, The City Always Wins conveys with extraordinary intensity all the stages of that place and that time through the lives of its two main characters Mariam and Khalil, ordinary young people caught up in an extraordinary moment.
Furthermore, The City Always Wins is a novel not just about Egypt’s revolution but about a global generation that tried to change the world.
Reminiscent of the writing of Jeet Thayil, Zia Haider Rahma and Nadeem Aslam, Hamilton’s prose is arrestingly visual, intensely lyrical and uncompromisingly political. A genuinely exciting new writer, he looks set to become a defining voice of his generation.
Byron and the Beauty is loosely based on Byron’s biography and takes place during two weeks of October 1809, during his now famous sojourn in the Balkans. Besides being a great love story, this is also a novel about East and West, about Europe and the Balkans, about travel and friendship and cruelty. Bazdulj marvellously combines facts with imagination, history and romance, resulting in an exceptionally beautiful novel. The author’s style has something of the subtle lyricism and chronicle-like tranquillity of his countryman Ivo Andric, but also a touch of the oriental baroque richness associated with Orhan Pamuk, making this a book which is both erudite and innovative, with a daring sense of humour.
A young man is found lying unconscious on the outskirts of Bucharest. No one knows who he is and everyone has a different theory about how he got there. Within the pages of this charming book, the stories of a variety of characters unfold, each closely interwoven with the next, and outlining the features of what ultimately turns out to be the most important and most powerful character of all: the city of Bucharest itself. The plot of Life Begins on Friday takes place during the last 13 days of 1897 and culminates in a beautiful tableau of the future as imagined by the characters we have come to know and love. We might even say that it is we who inhabit their future, and so too does Dan Creţu, alias Dan Kretzu, the present-day journalist hurled back in time by some mysterious process for just long enough to allow us a wonderful glimpse into a remote, almost forgotten world. Parvulescus’ book is a magical tale full of enchanting characters who can carry the reader to another time