Peirene title no 21

The Empress and the Cake

Linda Stift


Madness lurks behind the pretty façade of everyday life.

An elderly lady offers a young woman a piece of cake. She accepts. The lady resembles the Austrian Empress Elisabeth and lives with her servant in an apartment full of bizarre souvenirs. More invitations follow. A seemingly harmless visit to the museum turns into a meticulously planned raid to steal a royal cocaine syringe. Without realizing, the young woman has become the lady’s accomplice. Does she realize she is losing control?


‘Linda Stift breaks the world down into frightening fragments. Impressive.’ taz

‘Such a wicked psychothriller can only come from Vienna.’ KulturSPIEGEL

‘The reader finds themselves in the situation of Kafka’s Josef K: drifting towards the inevitable.’ Literaturkritik.de


Translated from the Austrian German by Jamie Bulloch.

Fairy Tale Series
172pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published September 2016
ISBN 978-1-908670-30-4
eISBN 978-1-908670-31-1


Peirene title no 20

Her Father's Daughter

Marie Sizun


A taut and subtle family drama from France.

A little girl lives happily with her mother in war-torn Paris. She has never met her father, a prisoner of war in Germany. But then he returns and her mother switches her devotion to her husband. The girl realizes that she must win over her father to recover her position in the family. She confides a secret that will change their lives.


‘A delicate, discreet novel. Like its little heroine. Impressive.’ Sud Ouest Dimanche

‘Sizun’s beautifully controlled and simple story captures the surprisingly clear gaze of a little girl who discovers how adults excel in the art of concealment.’ Le Nouvel Observateur

‘This story brings to mind, like a slap in the face, our forgotten childhood memories. We remember the way adults fail to hear the tiny cries of the heart.’ Marie Claire


Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter.


Fairy Tale Series
149pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published June 2016
ISBN 978-1-908670-28-1
eISBN 978-1-908670-29-8


Peirene title no 19

The Man I Became

Peter Verhelst


Huxley’s Brave New World meets Orwell’s Animal Farm.

The impressively entertaining tale about the frailty of human civilisation by the leading Flemish writer Peter Verhelst, now for the first time in English.

Warning: This story is narrated by a gorilla. He is plucked from the jungle. He learns to chat and passes the ultimate test: a cocktail party. Eventually he is moved to an amusement park, where he acts in a play about the history of civilisation. But as the gorilla becomes increasingly aware of human frailties, he must choose between his instincts and his training, between principles and self-preservation.


‘Simple, but wonderful and impassioned.’ De Standaard

‘A heart-warming novella in bleak times.’ Humo


Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer.


Fairy Tale Series
120pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published February 2016
ISBN 978-1-908670-26-7
eISBN 978-1-908670-27-4


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