Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman
Friedrich Christian Delius
THE GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2010
A literary masterpiece by one of Germany's most renowned contemporary writers.
Rome one January afternoon in 1943. A young German woman is on her way to listen to a Bach concert at the Lutheran church. Innocent and naïve, the war is for her little more than a day-dream, until she realizes that her husband might never return.
This is a mesmerizing psychological portrait of the human need to safeguard innocence and integrity at any cost - even at the risk of excluding reality.
"The book's last paragraph, overtly expressing nothing more than the young woman's intention to write a letter, is one of the most moving conclusions I've ever read." Nick Lezard, The Guardian
"What a superb translation. This extraordinary and eloquent novella, a true tour de force, has made me long to find more of Delius's work straightway." Miranda Seymour, author
Translated from German by Jamie Bulloch.
125pp, Paperback with Flaps, £8.99
Stone in a Landslide
THE INDEPENDENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2010
FOYLES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2010
The Catalan modern classic, first published in 1985, now in its 50th edition, for the first time in English.
The beginning of the 20th century: 13-year-old Conxa leaves her home village in the Pyrenees to work for her childless aunt. After years of hardship she finds love with Jaume – a love that will be thwarted by the Spanish Civil War. Approaching her own death, Conxa looks back on a life in which she has lost everything except her own indomitable spirit.
"There is an understated power in Barbal’s depiction of how the forces of history can shape the life of the powerless." Financial Times
"So vibrant, that it makes me want to take scissors to everything else I read." The Guardian
Translated from Catalan by Laura McGloughlin and Paul Mitchell.
126pp, Paperback with Flaps, £8.99
Beside the Sea
50p of each copy of this book are donated to the Maya Centre, a London based charity offering free counselling for women on low incomes.
WINNER OF SCOTT MONCRIEFF PRIZE 2011 FOR BEST ENGLISH TRANSLATION FROM FRENCH
LONGLISTED FOR INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE 2011
BOOKTRUST TOP 5 TRANSLATED BOOKS 2010
The French controversial bestseller for the first time available in English.
A single mother takes her two young sons on a trip to the seaside. They stay in a hotel, drink hot chocolate and go to the funfair. She wants to protect them from an uncomprehending and cold world. She knows that it will be the last trip for her boys.
A haunting and thought-provoking story about how a mother’s love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay.
"This is a mesmerising portrait ... it should be read." Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
"A harrowing evocation of mental illness, and of one woman's terrifying inability to bear the burdens of motherhood. A sustained exercise in dread for the reader, but a surprisingly sympathetic portrait nonetheless." Lionel Shriver, author of 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'
Translated from French by Adriana Hunter.
120pp, Paperback with Flaps, £8.99