Ice Moonby Jan Costin Wagner
translated from the German by John Brownjohn
Only a week after losing his wife, a distraught Detective Kimmo Joentaa returns to work to join a murder inquiry. It is the case of a woman smothered in her sleep—a curiously tranquil death, it seems, and one with no motive—and Kimmo becomes obsessed. The only clues are a half-empty bottle of red wine, two glasses, and a missing painting, a blurred landscape of no value. When a young man is found murdered in bed the next day in a hostel room with seven people asleep around him, Kimmo realizes a serial killer must be at work. Set in Finland during the unnervingly long days of late summer near the top of the world, Ice Moon is an unsettling, poignant mystery.
Nineby Andrezej Stasiuk
translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston
Pawel, a young businessman in debt to loan sharks, wakes up one April morning in a sea of debris, broken glass, ripped upholstery, and clothes spilling out of the wardrobe. He turns to two friends for help: Bolek, a former coal miner, now a drug dealer who lives in tasteless luxury; and Jacek, an addict, who is himself on the run through Warsaw, a washed out city, a hostile landscape of apartment blocks, railroad stations, wild gardens, factories, and suburban wastelands. At once existential crime fiction and a work of art, Nine establishes Stasiuk as a major voice in European literature.
Peeling the Onionby Günter Grass
translated from the German by Michael Henry Heim
In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two-room apartment in Danzig through the late 1950s, when The Tin Drum was published.
During the Second World War, Grass volunteered for the submarine corps at the age of fifteen but was rejected; two years later, in 1944, he was instead drafted into the Waffen-SS. Taken prisoner by American forces as he was recovering from shrapnel wounds, he spent the final weeks of the war in an American POW camp. After the war, Grass resolved to become an artist and moved with his first wife to Paris, where h began to write the novel that would make him famous.
Full of the bravado of youth, the rubble of postwar Germany, the thrill of wild love affairs, and the exhilaration of Paris in the early fifties, Peeling the Onion—which caused great controversy when it was published in Germany—reveals Grass at his most intimate.
Seeingby Jose Saramago
translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa
On Election Day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has bothered to come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. Should they reschedule the elections for another day? Around three o’clock, the rain finally stops. Promptly at four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if they had been ordered to appear.
But when the ballots are counted, more than 70 percent are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that hit the city four years before.
What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister.