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 . . .
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .
Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .