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Pushkin Press And The Next Six Months

I like Pushkin Press a lot. They’re the people who published the awesome and bizarre story of writers bouncing around a grocery store due to the extremely compelling power of literature. They’re the people behind the Frenchman who pulls you into his epic Dumas-like adventure. They’re the people who translated the tale of elderly women busting out of their nursing home and engaging in a Battle Royale fight to the death. And they’re the people who gave us Man Booker short-listed Chigozie Obloma’s The Fishermen.

I’ve got the catalogue for next year, from January to June, and thought I’d share some of the books that have caught my eye. I should also mention that the publisher now has a couple of imprints – Vertigo, a thriller imprint, and One which publishes one exceptional work a year. If you wanted to start a collection you’ve certainly lots of time.

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The first new title listed is Stefan Zweig’s Messages From A Lost World. I’ve seen the cover before, possibly on the site, or maybe another blog; it struck me as a good one to choose. Pushkin publish a lot of Zweig’s words. Truth be told I know nothing about him beyond what I’ve read in the catalogue – I’m still making up for the lack-lustre literary classes I attended at school – but he sounds worth the read. This particular book is a collection of essays and speeches from the 1930s and 1940s, ‘a defence of European unity against terror and brutality… a powerful statement of one man’s belief in the creative imagination and the potential of humanity’. These essays would have been written during twelve years – in 1942 Zweig and his wife were found dead. It was likely suicide.

I’m going to bypass the new Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. I could write a post the length of this one on how much and for how long I’ve had One Night, Markovitch on my to-be-read list. Sometimes, when my interest in a book is mostly down to the cover (it happens to the best of us), a cover change is enough to make me delete it from the list. Annoyingly, considering how many books I want to read, Pushkin’s change hasn’t altered my intrigue. Waterstones likes to use it as bait to get me to walk into their stores. They’ll win eventually.

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Memories: From Moscow To The Black Sea is by Teffi. Teffi, an author of the early 20th Century, travelled around Russia on a reading tour whilst her fellow Russians fled the country. She eventually left, not knowing she wouldn’t be allowed to come back. She writes of her last months in Russia, an epic journey of two thousand miles. Pushkin have thought ahead – they’re publishing a collection of Teffi’s pointedly political writings, too.

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Soft In the Head – I couldn’t not mark this one. Unsurprisingly ‘sunny’ but also ‘moving’, according to Marie-Sabine Roger’s fellow Frenchmen or women at La Marseillaise, this book is a tale of a wood-whittling graffiti-making young man and his friend, an eighty-five year old woman he meets on a bench. [Edit: I got the date wrong – it was written after Forrest Gump.]

So there you have it – a highly subjective, partly based on covers list of the books I believe may be the stand-outs from Pushkin’s future output. I’m loving the number of translation-based small publishers there are, glad we have so many and that they’re doing well.

Which small-press books, whether translated or not, are you looking forward to next year?


Tracy Terry

November 25, 2015, 3:10 pm

Whilst I know of this publisher and its good reputation I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading any of its publications.

A big fan of the smaller, more independent publishing companies I’ve enjoyed several books published by Alma book and am looking forward to receiving a copy of thei rArsene Lupin vs Sherlock Holmes by Maurice LeBlanc.


November 29, 2015, 6:57 pm

Pushkin is by far my favorite publishers, I want to read everything they have or will publish :)



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