Staff Picks by Tag

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Abyss By Pilar Quintana Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781642861228
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: World Editions - February 7th, 2023

With a cold and beautiful mother obsessed with the deaths of tragic female figures (Grace Kelly, Princess Di) and a much older father who works often and barely speaks, little Claudia can't help but question her place in such a lonely and melancholy world. Her childlike approach to try and win her mother's fickle affections swings like a pendulum between hope and devastation over and over again throughout this slim sucker punch of a book.


Review by Sarah C.

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The Archive of Feelings: A Novel By Peter Stamm, Michael Hofmann (Translated by) Cover Image
By Peter Stamm, Michael Hofmann (Translated by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781635422757
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Other Press - December 5th, 2023

An absorbing exercise in existential contemplation. The Archive of Feelings is a memory palace furnished with isolation and melancholy, its protagonist feeling fully human thanks to Stamm's hallmark clarity and precision.


Review by Wes

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The Strangers (Spanish Literature) By Jon Bilbao, Katie Whittemore (Translator) Cover Image
By Jon Bilbao, Katie Whittemore (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781628974553
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Dalkey Archive Press - February 21st, 2023

Lights over the sky! Mysterious relatives! Ennui, domestic discomfort, ufologists who invade the streets and parks of a coastal Spanish town. A singular, upsettlingly good book that's also partially about the dangers of freelancing. Think THE EMPLOYEES by Olga Ravn but better.


Review by Spencer R.

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I Who Have Never Known Men By Jacqueline Harpman, Ros Schwartz (Translator), Sophie Mackintosh (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Jacqueline Harpman, Ros Schwartz (Translator), Sophie Mackintosh (Afterword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781945492600
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Transit Books - May 10th, 2022

Raised in an underground bunker with no outside contact, our protagonist has no name and no idea where she is. When she and the 38 other women imprisoned with her suddenly find themselves freed, they are released onto a vast, barren plane. Described as "Ursula K. LeGuin meets The Road" Harpman's writing is austere and beautiful. This is a book I will not soon forget. 


Review by Jade

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Cross-Stitch By Jazmina Barrera, Christina Macsweeney (Translator) Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781949641530
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Two Lines Press - November 7th, 2023

Even when Jazmina Barrera is in the business of writing novels, she can't escape the essay form. Barrera's Ferrante-esque novel of friendship, woven within a cultural history of sewing, makes for an engrossing story, the kind that has you drawing exclamation points in the margins with abundance. I'm amazed by the breadth of Barrera's thinking, her manifold interests. Christina MacSweeney, returning for a third time to render Barrera's work into English, is the only translator I want to see at the helm.


Review by Spencer R.

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A Shining By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator) Cover Image
By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781945492778
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Transit Books - October 31st, 2023

When think of my own death, I will forever see Fosse's dark woods and his shining, barefoot apparitions in snow-smothered quiet. I don't know how to speak of this brief book without reverence or animal fear. A book to be read aloud, around a campfire, with loved ones, in its entirety.

 


Review by Spencer R.

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The Wall By Marlen Haushofer, Shaun Whiteside (Translated by), Claire Louise-Bennett (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Marlen Haushofer, Shaun Whiteside (Translated by), Claire Louise-Bennett (Afterword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811231947
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions - June 21st, 2022

A woman vacationing in the Austrian mountains awakes one morning to find herself cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible wall. With only a dog for company, she must learn to live off the land; hunting, farming and scouting for supplies all while maintaining her sanity. The prose of this translated work is straightforward and somewhat bleak, touching on themes of identity, women's "worth" and the importance (or not) of physical appearance. Haunting and beautifully original, this is a book I'll be thinking about for a long time.


Review by Jade

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Of Cattle and Men By Ana Paula Maia, Zoë Perry (Translator) Cover Image
By Ana Paula Maia, Zoë Perry (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781913867492
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Charco Press - April 11th, 2023

A vivid, hardened tale of the slaughterhouse trade by Brazilian author Ana Paula Maia. In Zoe Perry's translation, Maia reads like Cormac McCarthy with the labor consciousness of George Orwell. Good, haunting, bloody old west stuff with an ethical imperative—if I wasn't already a vegetarian, this would do the trick. I'm keeping "Of Cattle and Men" high on the shelf.


Review by Spencer R.

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Still Born By Guadalupe Nettel, Rosalind Harvey (Translated by) Cover Image
By Guadalupe Nettel, Rosalind Harvey (Translated by)
$26.99
ISBN: 9781639730032
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - August 8th, 2023

I could not pull myself away from this book. STILL BORN is the horrifying, miraculous, nuanced story of two friends and their decisions to have children. When Alina becomes pregnant, her doctors assure her the child won't live. Then, she does. Without melodrama or melancholy, Nettel's characters endure moral dilemmas beyond imagination, and commit acts that make life more complex, and richer still. STILL BORN leaves me in awe.


Review by Spencer R.

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Winter in Sokcho By Elisa Shua Dusapin, Aneesa Abbas Higgins (Translator) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781948830416
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Open Letter - April 27th, 2021

This book is simultaneously uncomfortable and endearing, remaining in an amorphous zone of being content and discontent and constantly questioning what it means to see and to be seen. Dusapin writes of the acquaintance between a young receptionist at a tourist hotel on the border between North and South Korea and a visiting French graphic novelist. As they explore the area and grow close, the distance between them remains. It is slow, uneventful, and absolutely gorgeous. Dusapin's words and Higgins's ensnaring translation will leave you grasping for more until the very last sentence.


Review by Sofia

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