Contemporary fiction and essays

Fitzcarraldo Editions
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Fitzcarraldo Editions is an independent publisher specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays. Founded in 2014, it focuses on ambitious, imaginative and innovative writing, both in translation and in the English language.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays2 days ago
In Not to Read, Alejandro Zambra outlines his own particular theory of reading that also offers a kind of blurry self-portrait, or literary autobiography. Whether writing about Natalia Ginzburg, typewriters and computers, Paul Léautaud, or how to be silent in German, his essays function as a laboratory for his novels, a testing ground for ideas, readings and style. Not to Read also presents an alternative pantheon of Latin American literature — Zambra would rather talk about Nicanor Parra than Pablo Neruda, Mario Levrero than Gabriel García Márquez. His voice is that of a trusted friend telling you about a book or an author he’s excited about, how he reads, and why he writes. A standard-bearer of his generation in Chile, with Not to Read Alejandro Zambra confirms he is one of the most engaging writers of our time.‘When I read Zambra I feel like someone’s shooting fireworks inside my head. His prose is as compact as a grain of gunpowder, but its allusions and ramifications branch out and illuminate even the most remote corners of our minds.’—
Valeria Luiselli, author of The Story of My Teeth
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essayslast month
Brothers Jackson and Frank live on the margins of a big urban sprawl. From abandoned tower blocks to gleaming skyscrapers, their city is brutal, beautiful and divided. As anti-government protests erupt across the teeming metropolis, the brothers sail in search of the Red Citadel and its promise of a radical new way of life. A striking portrait of the precarity of modern urban living, and of the fierce bonds that grow between brothers, Patrick Langley’s debut Arkady is a brilliant coming-of-age novel, as brimming with vitality as the city itself. ‘Thick with smoky atmosphere and beautifully controlled — this is a vivid and very fine debut.’ — Kevin Barry, author of  City of Bohane
Arkady, Patrick Langley
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays2 months ago
Boldly combining the highly personal with the brilliantly scholarly, In the Dark Room explores the question of how memory works emotionally and culturally. It is narrated through the prism of the author’s experience of losing both his parents, his mother when he was sixteen, his father when he was on the cusp of adulthood and of trying, after a breakdown some years later, to piece things together. Drawing on the lessons of centuries of literature, philosophy and visual art, Dillon interprets the relics of his parents and of his childhood in a singularly original and arresting piece of writing reissued for the first time since its original publication in 2005, and including a new foreword from prize-winning biographer Frances Wilson. ‘In the Dark Room is a wonderfully controlled yet passionate meditation on memory and the things of the past, those that are lost and those, fewer, that remain: on what, in a late work, Beckett beautifully reduced to “time and grief and self, so-called”. Retracing his steps through his own life and the lives of the family in the midst of which he grew up, Brian Dillon takes for guides some of the great connoisseurs of melancholy, from St Augustine to W. G. Sebald, by way of Sir Thomas Browne and Marcel Proust and Walter Benjamin. The result is a deeply moving testament, free of sentimentality and evasion, to life's intricacies and the pleasures and the inevitable pains they entail. In defiance of so much that is ephemeral, this is a book that will live.’ — John Banville, winner of the Booker Prize for The Sea in 2005.
In the Dark Room, Brian Dillon
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays3 months ago
• Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain meets W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants.• In rich, poetic language, Kinsky conjures both past and present from a disappearing landscape.• This is the kind of intelligent and striking female voice that we know we’re going to be able to rally independent booksellers behind.• Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2017, River will be a strong candidate for the Man Booker International Prize• River won the Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Prize 2016, the Franz Hessel Prize 2014, the Kranichsteiner Literature Prize 2015 and the SWR Prize for the best fiction book 2015, and was longlisted for the German Book Prize 2014.
River, Esther Kinsky
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays5 months ago
Every living thing has two bodies. To be an animal is to be in possession of a physical body, a body which can eat, drink and sleep; it is also to be embedded in a worldwide network of ecosystems. When every human body has an uncanny global presence, how do we live with ourselves? In this timely and elegant essay, Daisy Hildyard captures the second body by exploring how the human is part of animal life. She meets Richard, a butcher in Yorkshire, and sees pigs turned into boiled ham; and Gina, an environmental criminologist, who tells her about leopards and silver foxes kept as pets in luxury apartments. She speaks to Luis, a biologist, about the origin of life; and talks to Nadezhda about fungi in an effort to understand how we define animal life. Eventually, her second body comes to visit her first body when the river flooded her home last year. The Second Body is a brilliantly lucid account of the dissolving boundaries between all life on earth.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays6 months ago
Translated for the first time into English, cult German author Rainald Goetz’s debut novel Insane draws upon his clinical psychiatric experience to paint a portrait of the asylum as a total institution. We follow a young psychiatrist, Dr Raspe, who enters the profession dreaming of revolutionising its methods. Confronted by day-to-day practices and the reality of life in the psychiatric hospital, Raspe begins to fray at the edges. The very concept of madness is called into question in a brutal portrayal of patients and psychiatrists and the various treatments administered, from psychotherapy to electroshock therapy. What is madness? And who is truly mad? Diving headlong into a terrifying and oppressive world, Insane is a veritable journey into the madhouse by one of Germany’s most prominent and contentious authors.
Insane, Rainald Goetz
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Grudova's debut collection is inspired weirdness—fairy tales written by Margaret Atwood, or dystopias by Angela Carter—that feels entirely, distressingly contemporary in its concerns. Doll's Alphabet will be published this winter in the UK by Fitzcarraldo Editions and has built-in momentum from its already enthusiastic reception there. CHP and Coach House will be offering the book simultaneously in the US and Canada (with a shared cover) adding to the energies behind the book, and the ability to garner publicity upon releaseGrudova's stories are patterned, layered with motifs and recurring objects that create a coherent universe for the collection, one where women's limited power stands in stark contrast to the demands made of them. This is an explicitly feminist dystopia.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays7 months ago
An essay with the reach and momentum of a novel, Kate Briggs’s This Little Art is a genre-bending song for the practice of literary translation, offering fresh, fierce and timely thinking on reading, writing and living with the works of others. Taking her own experience of translating Roland Barthes’s lecture notes as a starting point, the author threads various stories together to give us this portrait of translation as a compelling, complex and intensely relational activity. She recounts the story of Helen Lowe-Porter’s translations of Thomas Mann, and their posthumous vilification. She writes about the loving relationship between André Gide and his translator Dorothy Bussy. She recalls how Robinson Crusoe laboriously made a table, for him for the first time, on an undeserted island. With This Little Art, a beautifully layered account of a subjective translating experience, Kate Briggs emerges as a truly remarkable writer: distinctive, wise, frank, funny and utterly original.
This Little Art, Kate Briggs
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Camilla, Charles, Alma, Edward, Alwilda and Kristian are a circle of friends hurtling through mid-life. Structured as a series of monologues jumping from one friend to the next, Companions follows their loves, ambitions, pains and anxieties as they age, fall sick, have affairs, grieve, host dinner parties and move between the Lake District, Berlin, Lisbon, Belgrade, Mozambique, New York and, of course, Denmark. In her first book to be translated into English, Christina Hesselholdt explores everyday life, the weight of the past and the difficulty of intimacy in a uniquely playful and experimental style. At once deeply comic and remarkably insightful, Companions is an exhilarating portrait of life in the twenty-first century.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
One of the boldest voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen returns with Moving Kings, a propulsive, incendiary novel that interweaves, in profoundly intimate terms, the housing crisis in America's poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world's oldest conflict, in the Middle East.The year is 2015, and twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They come to New York City and begin working for Yoav's distant cousin David King – a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the recently divorced proprietor of King's Moving Inc., a heavyweight in the Tri-State area's moving and storage industries. Yoav and Uri now must struggle to become reacquainted with civilian life, but it's not easy to move beyond their traumatic pasts when their days are spent kicking down doors as evictionmovers in the ungentrified corners of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, throwing out delinquent tenants and seizing their possessions. And what starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job – an “Occupation” – quickly turns violent when they encounter one homeowner seeking revenge.Driven by Cohen's characteristic intelligence, boundless energy, psychological tension, and humor, Moving Kings is a powerful and provocative novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Imagine a type of writing so hard to define its very name means a trial, effort or attempt. An ancient form with an eye on the future, a genre poised between tradition and experiment. The essay wants above all to wander, but also to arrive at symmetry and wholeness; it nurses competing urges to integrity and disarray, perfection and fragmentation, confession and invention.

How to write about essays and essayists while staying true to these contradictions? ESSAYISM is a personal, critical and polemical book about the genre, its history and contemporary possibilities. It’s an example of what it describes: an essay that is curious and digressive, exacting yet evasive, a form that would instruct, seduce and mystify in equal measure. Among the essayists to whom he pays tribute – from Virginia Woolf to Georges Perec, Joan Didion to Sir Thomas Browne – Brian Dillon discovers a path back into his own life as a reader, and out of melancholia to a new sense of writing as adventure.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Flights, a novel about travel in the twenty-first century and human anatomy, is Olga Tokarczuk’s most ambitious to date. It interweaves travel narratives and reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. From the seventeenth century, we have the story of the Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg. From the eighteenth century, we have the story of a North African-born slave turned Austrian courtier stuffed and put on display after his death. In the nineteenth century, we follow Chopin’s heart as it makes the covert journey from Paris to Warsaw. In the present we have the trials of a wife accompanying her much older husband as he teaches a course on a cruise ship in the Greek islands, and the harrowing story of a young husband whose wife and child mysteriously vanish on a holiday on a Croatian island. With her signature grace and insight, Olga Tokarczuk guides the reader beyond the surface layer of modernity and towards the core of the very nature of humankind.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
A frank and fascinating exploration of race and racial identity, Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays begins with a series of lynchings and ends with a series of apologies. Eula Biss explores race in America and her response to the topic is informed by the experiences chronicled in these essays – teaching in a Harlem school on the morning of 9/11, reporting from an African American newspaper in San Diego, watching the aftermath of hurricane Katrina from a college town in Iowa, and settling in Chicago’s most diverse neighbourhood. As Biss moves across the country from New York to California to the Midwest, her essays move across from biblical Babylon to the freedmen’s schools of Reconstruction to a Jim Crow mining town to post-war white flight. She brings an eclectic education to the page, drawing variously on the Eagles, Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Baldwin, Alexander Graham Bell, Joan Didion, religious pamphlets, and reality television. These spare, sometimes lyric essays explore the legacy of race in America, artfully revealing in intimate detail how families, schools, and neighbourhood participate in preserving racial privilege. Faced with a disturbing past and unsettling present, Biss still remains hopeful about the possibilities of American diversity, ‘not the sun-shininess of it, or the quote-making politics of it, but the real complexity of it.’
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Shortlisted for the International Man Booker 2017

As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting the important chapters of his life: his ongoing fascination with the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers, artists, musicians, academics, orientalists, and explorers who populate this vast dreamscape. At the centre of these memories is his elusive, unrequited love, Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French scholar caught in the intricate tension between Europe and the Middle East. An immersive, nocturnal, musical novel, full of generous erudition and bittersweet humour, Compass is a journey and a declaration of admiration, a quest for the otherness inside us all and a hand reaching out – like a bridge between West and East, yesterday and tomorrow. Winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt, this is Mathias Enard’s most ambitious novel since Zone.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
This Young Monster is a hallucinatory celebration of artists who raise hell, transform their bodies, anger their elders and show their audience dark, disturbing things. What does it mean to be a freak? Why might we be wise to think of the present as a time of monstrosity? And how does the concept of the monster irradiate our thinking about queerness, disability, children and adolescents? From TWIN PEAKS to Leigh Bowery, Harmony Korine to Alice in Wonderland, This Young Monster gets high on a whole range of riotous art as its voice and form shape-shift, all in the name of dealing with the strange wonders of what Nabokov once called `monsterhood'. Ready or not, here they come….
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Somewhere in Spain, Marc, an avid reader of the Philips Agricultural Guide, pegs mathematical formulas to clotheslines on the roof of an 8-storey building. In London, the artist Jodorkovski spends hours painting tiny vignettes on chewing gum stuck to the pavements. In Miami, Harold spends his days devouring every box of Corn Flakes with his ex-wife's
birthday as its sell-by-date. Meanwhile, in Corcubión, Spain, Antón is working on an audacious theory about the shared properties of barnacles and hard disks. These are some of the narrative strands that make up this arborescently structured novel, the second instalment in the Nocilla Trilogy, hailed as one of the most daring experiments in Spanish
literature of recent years. Featuring walk-on parts for Julio Cortázar during the writing of Hopscotch and Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, and full of references to indie cinema, collage, conceptual art, practical architecture, the history of computers and the decadence of the novel, Nocilla Experience picks up where Nocilla Dream left off, presenting us with a hidden and exhilarating cartography of contemporary experience.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
Longlisted for the International Man Booker 2017

Bricks and Mortar is the story of the sex trade in a big city in the former GDR, from just before 1989 to the present day,
charting the development of the industry from absolute prohibition to full legality in the twenty years following the reunification of Germany. The focus is on the rise and fall of one man from football hooligan to large-scale landlord and service-provider for prostitutes to, ultimately, a man persecuted by those he once trusted. But we also hear other voices: many different women who work in prostitution, their clients, small-time gangsters, an ex-jockey searching for his drug-addict daughter, a businessman from the West, a girl forced into child prostitution, a detective, a pirate radio presenter… In his most ambitious book to date, Clemens Meyer pays homage to modernist, East German and contemporary writers like Alfred Döblin, Wolfgang Hilbig and David Peace but uses his own style and almost hallucinatory techniques. Time shifts and stretches, people die and come to life again, and Meyer takes his characters seriously and challenges his readers in this dizzying eye-opening novel that also finds inspiration in the films of Russ Meyer, Takashi Miike, Gaspar Noé and David Lynch.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
One of the most widely celebrated artists of his generation, Ed Atkins makes videos, draws, and writes, developing a complex and deeply figured discourse around definition, wherein the impossibilities for sufficient representations of the physical, specifically corporeal, world – from computer generated imagery to bathetic poetry – are hysterically rehearsed.A PRIMER FOR CADAVERS, a startlingly original first collection, brings together a selection of his texts from 2010 to 2016. 'Part prose-poetry, part theatrical direction, part script-work, part dream-work,' writes Joe Luna in his afterword, 'Atkins' texts present something as fantastic and commonplace as the record of a creation, the diary of a writer glued to the screen of their own production, an elegiac, erotic Frankenstein for the twenty-first century.'
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
No art has been denounced as often as poetry. It’s even bemoaned by poets: ‘I, too, dislike it,’ wrote Marianne Moore. ‘Many more people agree they hate poetry,’ Ben Lerner writes, ‘than can agree what poetry is. I, too, dislike it and have largely organized my life around it and do not experience that as a contradiction because poetry and the hatred of poetry are inextricable in ways it is my purpose to explore.’ In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art. He examines poetry’s greatest haters (beginning with Plato’s famous claim that an ideal city had no place for poets, who would only corrupt and mislead the young) and both its greatest and worst practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. Throughout, he attempts to explain the noble failure at the heart of every truly great and truly horrible poem: the impulse to launch the experience of an individual into a timeless communal existence. In THE HATRED OF POETRY, Lerner has crafted an entertaining, personal, and entirely original examination of a vocation no less essential for being impossible.
Fitzcarraldo Editions
Fitzcarraldo Editionsadded a book to the bookshelfContemporary fiction and essays8 months ago
In Second-Hand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world.

Alexievich’s distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely give the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation.
Second-Hand Time will lead the South African reader to draw unexpected parallels with life after 1994.
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