Amanda DeMarco—founder of the Readux online literary magazine, occasional correspondent for Publishing Perspectives, member of the Berlin literati, and all around good person—just launched her latest enterprise: Readux Books.
Readux Books will individually publish short works of (mostly) translated literature. Based in Berlin, our location in the heart of European literary life is one of our great strengths. We will release four teeny books (small format, 32–64 pp.) three times yearly, a bit like a magazine. The books will be available in print and electronically. The first set will be published at the beginning of October 2013.
This is a great moment to work with short-form writing. During my research, I’ve discovered a constellation of organizations dedicated to publishing short texts individually, but Readux is the first to do so with a focus on translation.
Translations from German will play an important and continuing role in our program, because of our special ties to Berlin and to German literature. In our first year, we will also publish translations from Swedish, in partnership with the Swedish publisher Novellix, whose format is the inspiration for our own. We look forward to many fruitful collaborations with Novellix in the future, as well as with other organizations in Europe and in the United States, which we’re excited to tell you more about in the coming months.
Each group of books will also include one piece by a well-known English-language writer. This person’s piece will also act as a gateway, helping readers discover foreign authors they don’t yet know they love.
Last week she announced the first package of titles to be published by the press:
Two of our little books focus on our ever-fascinating home-city of Berlin: The brilliant writer-translator Franz Hessel’s In Berlin takes an intimate look at turbulent Weimar-era Berlin with two classic 1929 essays.
In City of Rumor: The Compulsion to Write About Berlin, Gideon Lewis-Kraus examines what it is that makes him return to the topic of Berlin again and again.
Francis Nenik’s The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping is a moving and formally virtuosic exploration of talent, fate, and chance in the lives of two twentieth-century poets.
Swedish literary star Malte Persson’s smart, ironic story Fantasy, about the fallout in the wake of a failed Stockholm movie production, investigates the shifting boundaries between fantasy and reality.
More information about how to order—or subscribe, which is what you should do—will be available in the near future. In the meantime, it’s just worth checking out her site. I’m particularly excited about the Gideon Lewis-Kraus book . . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .