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Season's greetings!

(from the Peirene team)

Dear Peirene readers,

At the risk of repeating the same tired phrases going around at the moment… what a year 2020 has been, and aren’t we glad to see the back of it?! It’s hard to believe that December is somehow here already, and the atmosphere at our (remote, respective) Peirene HQs is one of contented exhaustion. Despite all the adverse conditions, we kept going, stayed on schedule, packaged up and sent out hundreds of books from Stella’s flat, and introduced three brilliant books to the English-speaking world.

Last orders!

This week, we’re sending out the last of our Christmas orders before winding down for a well-earned break. Our office will be closed from December 21st until January 4th, when we’ll be back ready for a new year. Please get your last orders in by the end of the day tomorrow, Wednesday December 16th, for delivery in time for Christmas! Any orders received after this date will be dispatched in the new year.

New year, new series… 

When we chose our 2020 theme ‘Closed Universe’, focusing on protagonists in isolated environments, we had no way of knowing it would prove so relevant to all our lives this year. For 2021, we’ve chosen the theme ‘Metamorphoses’ and we hope it will be equally pertinent to the new year: it features characters facing trials and tribulations, coming through them with a new perspective. The first in the series, Andrea Lundgren’s beautiful short story collection Nordic Fauna, went out to subscribers last week. It was translated from the Swedish by John Litell, winner of the 2020 Peirene Stevns Translation Prize, while he worked full time as an ICU doctor in Minneapolis throughout the pandemic. To us, this book is not just a great work of literature, it’s a story of resilience and perseverance. There’s still time to subscribe, or buy a one-year gift subscription for your favourite bookworm, and get Nordic Fauna delivered to your door in time for Christmas: place your order here before the end of the day tomorrow.

Looking back on 2020

We’re all hoping for brighter times in 2021, and wishing for them for you too. But even though 2020 was undeniably difficult, there were nonetheless some real highlights that are worth celebrating as we look back on the year…

Our books received some excellent recognition, with Faces on the Tip of My Tongue by Emmanuelle Pagano, translated by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins, appearing on the International Booker longlist, and Jamie Bulloch’s translation of Birgit Vanderbeke’s You Would Have Missed Me shortlisted for both the Oxford-Weidenfeld and Schlegel-Tieck translation prizes.

In June, our World Refugee Day Shatila Stories online event raised over £900 for the Alsama Project, helping them educate and empower young refugees in the Shatila camp in Lebanon.

And we founded the Borderless Book Club, our online series of interactive discussions between readers, publishers and translators, in collaboration with a wonderful group of small indies publishing incredible literature in translation.

Borderless Book Club needs your help!

We’ve just announced the Winter 2021 programme of the Borderless Book Club (see below), set to run from January to March – but we need your help to keep it going! Our latest funding application was unfortunately unsuccessful, so if you can spare a little money for a worthy initiative, please “buy us a coffee” or two here:

Overall, not too bad for a year we were all stuck at home! We’re looking forward to even bigger and better things in 2021 and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year,

Maddie & Stella

Peirene Press Ltd

17 Cheverton Road
London N19 3BB
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 6861941

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