Unclay

Death has come to the small village of Dodder to deliver a parchment with the names of two local mortals and the fatal word unclay upon it. When he loses the precious sheet, he is free of his errand. Hungry to taste the sweet fruits of human life, Mr. John Death, as he is now known, takes a holiday in Dorsetshire and rests from his reaping. The village basks in summer loveliness but teems with all the old sins (lust, avarice, greed)—as well as loving-kindness.…
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The Hole

Fiction by José Revueltas

Translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes Amanda Hopkinson

With a contribution by Álvaro Enrigue

Set in a Mexican prison in the late 1960s, The Hole follows three inmates as they attempt to sneak in drugs under the noses of their ape-like guards. Desperate to secure their next fix, they hatch a plan that involves convincing one of their mothers to bring the drugs into the prison. But everything about their plot is doomed from the beginning, doomed to end in violence … Unfolding in a single paragraph, The Hole is a verbal torrent, a prison inside a prison, and an ominous parable about deformed and wretched institutions creating even more deformed and wretched individuals.…
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Dog Symphony

Fiction by Sam Munson

Boris Leonidovich, a North American professor who specializes in the history of prison architecture, has been invited to Buenos Aires for an academic conference. He’s planning to present a paper on Moscow’s feared Butyrka prison, but most of all he’s looking forward to seeing his enigmatic, fiercely intelligent colleague (and sometime lover) Ana again. As soon as Boris arrives, however, he encounters obstacle after unlikely obstacle: he can’t get in touch with Ana, he locks himself out of his rented room, and he discovers dog-feeding stations and water bowls set before every house and business.…
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The Samurai

Fiction by Shusaku Endo

Translated by Van C. Gessel

In 1613, four low-ranking Japanese samurai, accompanied by a Spanish priest, set sail for Mexico to bargain for trading rights with the West in exchange for a Catholic crusade through Japan. Their arduous journey lasts four years, as they travel onward to Mexico then Rome, where they are persuaded that the success of their mission depends on their conversion to Christianity. In fact, the enterprise seems to have been futile from the start: the mission returns to Japan to find that the political tides have shifted.…
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I Didn't Talk

Fiction by Beatriz Bracher

Translated from the Portuguese by Adam Morris

A professor prepares to retire—Gustavo is set to move from São Paulo to the countryside, but it isn’t the urban violence he’s fleeing: what he fears most is the violence of his memory. But as he sorts out his papers, the ghosts arrive in full force. He was arrested in 1970 with his brother-in-law Armando: both were viciously tortured. He was eventually released; Armando was killed. No one is certain that he didn’t turn traitor: I didn’t talk, he tells himself, yet guilt is his lifelong harvest.…
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The Marvellous Equations of the Dread

Fiction by Marcia Douglas

“Is me—Bob. Bob Marley.” Reincarnated as homeless Fall-down man, Bob Marley sleeps in a clock tower built on the site of a lynching in Half Way Tree, Kingston. The ghosts of Marcus Garvey and King Edward VII are there too, drinking whiskey and playing solitaire. No one sees that Fall-down is Bob Marley, no one but his long-ago love, the deaf woman, Leenah, and, in the way of this otherworldly book, when Bob steps into the street each day, five years have passed.…
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The Hospital

Fiction by Ahmed Bouanani

Translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud

With a contribution by Anna Della Subin

“When I walked through the large iron gate of the hospital, I must have still been alive…” So begins Ahmed Bouanani’s arresting, hallucinatory 1989 novel The Hospital, appearing for the first time in English translation. Based on Bouanani’s own experiences as a tuberculosis patient, the hospital begins to feel increasingly like a prison or a strange nightmare: the living resemble the dead; bureaucratic angels of death descend to direct traffic, claiming the lives of a motley cast of inmates one by one; childhood memories and fantasies of resurrection flash in and out of the narrator’s consciousness as the hospital transforms before his eyes into an eerie, metaphorical space.…
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The Shutters

Poetry by Ahmed Bouanani

Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan

The Shutters collects the two most important poetry collections—”The Shutters” and “Photograms”—by the legendary Moroccan writer Ahmed Bouanani. By intertwining myth and tradition with the familiar objects and smells of his lived present, Bouanani reconstructs vivid images of Morocco’s past. He weaves together references to the Second World War, the Spanish and French protectorates, the Rif War, dead soldiers, prisoners, and poets screaming in their tombs with mouths full of dirt.…
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The Linden Tree

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

A delightful fictional memoir about César Aira’s small hometown. The narrator, born the same year and now living in the same great city (Buenos Aires) as César Aira, could be the author himself. Beginning with his parents—an enigmatic handsome black father who gathered linden flowers for his sleep-inducing tea and an irrational, crippled mother of European descent—the narrator catalogs memories of his childhood: his friends, his peculiar first job, his many gossiping neighbors, and the landscape and architecture of the provinces.…
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The Blue Flowers

Fiction by Raymond Queneau

Translated by Barbara Wright

The Blue Flowers follows two unlikely characters: Cidrolin, who alternates between drinking and napping on a barge parked along the Seine in the 1960s, and the Duke d’Auge as he rages through history—about 700 years of it—refusing to crusade, clobbering his king with a cannon, and dabbling in alchemy. But is it just a coincidence that the Duke appears only when Cidrolin is dozing? And vice versa? As Raymond Queneau explains: “There is an old Chinese saying: ‘I dream that I am a butterfly and pray there is a butterfly dreaming he is me.…
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