Staff Pick

 

Departing from his signature autofictional mode, Knausgaard follows nine loosely connected characters whose daily lives are interrupted by the appearance of a bright new star in the sky. As the quotidian collides with the wonder and horror of the fantastic--especially the series of eerie events the astral phenomenon ushers in--each begins to question the nature of their existence, their precarius faith, and even whether life has any inherent meaning. Read in the context of the ongoing pandemic, the novel is a remarkable exploration of human experience in the face of something overwhelming.

The Morning Star: A Novel Cover Image
By Karl Ove Knausgaard, Martin Aitken (Translated by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780399563423
Availability: Coming Soon—Pre-Order Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 28th, 2021

Staff Pick

Maylis de Kerangal is truly a singular writer, and Painting Time is a perfect example of her unique sensibilities. Translated from the French, the novel follows a young student at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels. De Kerangal describes painting as an intensely physical act: painters' bodies are hardened and strained by their work, and the artists fight constantly against their physical limits to create perfect recreations of the world. Here decorative paintings function not as ephemeral ideas, but as material objects, embodied by their artists’ obsessive attention to detail. Painting Time is hypnotic and obsessive, but also suffused with warmth and a near spirituality, charmingly narrated in de Kerangal’s intimate, strangely whimsical, authorial voice. One of my favorites of the year.  

Painting Time: A Novel Cover Image
By Maylis de Kerangal, Jessica Moore (Translated by)
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374211929
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 20th, 2021

Staff Pick

I am so happy to have stumbled upon Vigdis Hjorth: the author of 20 novels, only three of which have so far been translated into English. Long Live the Post Horn! is the most recently available and it is so delightful and strange that I read it in one sitting. The narrative follows a young PR representative struggling with identity and an increasing sense that everything in her life is meaningless. When a colleague disappears and she inherits his project of representing the Norwegian Post and Communications Union in opposing an EU directive, she becomes so invested in the struggle that she begins to reinvest in her own life. Hjorth’s writing is hypnotic and unsentimental, yet incredibly affecting, as she questions social responsibility and the nature of storytelling. In a year where threats to the postal service have been all too real, this book is refreshingly hopeful about what it looks like when those with the power to control stories choose people over commerce.  

Long Live the Post Horn! Cover Image
By Vigdis Hjorth, Charlotte Barslund (Translated by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781788733137
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Verso Fiction - September 15th, 2020

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