Pushkin Press

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The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos (transl. Sam Taylor): Tailor made

David Foekinos’ The Mystery of Henri Pick marks the beginning of a collaboration between publishers Pushkin Press and Channel 4’s Walter Presents, a streaming service which provides a good deal of my TV entertainment with its subtitled European drama. Even without that, I’d have been interested in this book whose blurb promised a novel about …

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Wild Swims by Dorthe Nors (transl. Misha Hoekstra): Smart, astute and funny

I first came across Dorthe Nors when I read her novella, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2017. Her crisp, plain style coupled with an undercurrent of humour hit the spot for me. Wild Swims, exemplifies her rather idiosyncratic style, its apparently simple stories offering their readers much to think …

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Ten Small But Perfectly Formed Publishers Who Will Post Books to Your Home

One of the very few silver linings to the coronavirus is a reported upsurge in book sales. We have booksellers, publishers, warehouse staff and posties to thank for getting hard copies to us, despite risks to themselves. You’re probably in the habit of browsing your local bookshop or maybe buying from online booksellers but small …

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Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

Regular readers will know that I’m not one for words like ‘charming’ and ‘delightful’ – smacks too much of tweeness for me – but when I read the pitch for Isabel Vincent’s Dinner with Edward, they immediately popped into my head. Another one was ‘Christmas’, but that’s the old bookseller in me. Vincent’s book tells …

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The Outermost House by Henry Beston: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod

Henry Beston’s The Outermost House is something of an American nature classic, an account of the year he spent living on a beach near Eastham, Massachusetts not far from the very tip of Cape Cod in the 1920s. This new edition comes with charming illustrations by Pete Smith who also designed its beautiful jacket. An …

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A Nail, A Rose by Madeleine Bourdouxhe (transl. Faith Evans): Stories about women

A Nail, A Rose is introduced by Faith Evans who first translated Madeleine Bourdouxhe’s stories thirty years ago after meeting the author then in her early 80s. Evans puts the eight pieces comprising this collection in their historical, political and stylistic context, explaining that in the main they were written in the shadow of the …

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Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer (transl. Antoinette Fawcett): An English eccentric

I don’t have the necessary patience for bird watching. My father spent hours observing them from the large picture windows of the house I grew up in. Perhaps that’s why I was attracted to Bird Cottage when I first saw it in the Pushkin Press catalogue. Eva Meijer’s debut novel is based on the life …

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Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (transl. Sondra Silverston): Truth will out

Look at that jacket. Isn’t it tempting? It was its premise that attracted me to Ayelet Gundar-Goshen’s novel but I can’t ignore that cover. Not only is it eye-catching, it fits the book perfectly. Set towards the end of a Tel Aviv summer, Liar tells the story of a young girl who becomes caught up …

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Browse: Love Letters to Bookshops Around the World edited by Henry Hitchings

This is the kind of book I’d have had stacked up at till points back in my bookselling days, aiming it squarely at the Christmas stockings of the bookish. It brought to mind Jorge Carrión’s Bookshops which I reviewed here a few years ago but Browse is much more of a book to dip into. …

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States of Passion by Nihad Sirees (transl. Max Weiss): A tale of old Aleppo

Nihad Sirees is Syrian which is what attracted me to States of Passion with its promise of a glimpse into the world of old Aleppo. Poor Syria is less often in the headlines these days despite her destruction grinding on relentlessly. First published in 1998, Sirees’ novel spins a tale of love, passion and jealousy …

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