About Peirene

Peirene Press is an award-winning boutique publishing house with an extra twist, based in London. We are committed to first class European literature in high-quality translation. Our books are beautifully designed paperback editions, using only the best paper from sustainable British sources. Affordable, timeless collector items. And because literature – both reading and writing – can be a lonely affair, Peirene hosts a wide range of regular literary events.


Times Literary Supplement

Peirene’s Books

Peirene specializes in contemporary European novellas and short novels in English translation. All our books are best-sellers and/or award-winners in their own countries. We only publish books of less than 200 pages that can be read in the same time it takes to watch a film.

From 2016: Selecting three books of foreign literature for you each year means that we can only choose from what we find on the international book market. However, every now and again there are urgent topics that we would like to see addressed in literature, but we can’t find any suitable stories. So, we launched a new project: Peirene Now! where we commission writers to respond with fiction to current political topics. Peirene Now! titles can be bought from our shop page and are not part of our subscriptions.

Peirene’s Book Subscription

We like to encourage readers to take out our annual book subscription, consisting of three books of our latest translated fiction. Three times a year – every four months – in December, May and September – you will receive a book of world-class literature at your doorstep. A beautiful, unexpected surprise.

Your subscription will allow us to plan ahead with confidence and continue to introduce English readers to the joy of foreign literature.

A subscription is also the perfect way for book lovers to collect all the Peirene titles.

Why Peirene

Peirene Press takes its name from a Greek nymph who turned into a water spring. The poets of Corinth discovered the Peirene source and, for centuries, they drank this water to receive inspiration.The idea of metamorphosis fits the art of translation beautifully. To turn a foreign book into an enjoyable English read involves careful attention to detail.

How Peirene chooses books

We regularly review the winners and short listed books for the most prestigious literary prizes in the various European countries, such as the French Prix Médicis, the German Georg Büchner Preis, the Polish Nike, the Czech Magnesia Litera etc. Furthermore, we work with international agents and pay attention to what foreign publishers have translated. We are also influenced by suggestions from readers, friends, writers, translators, journalists, university professors. And last but not least we attend European book fairs and are not afraid of making personal choices.

Peirene’s Literary Events

We curate and host a wide range of regular literary events, from informal coffee morning to elegant literary salons.

Peirene’s Social Activism

We believe that the impact of a good book should go beyond the last page. That’s why we support charities and have created the Peirene Now! series.