Europa Editions

Book 11: The Art of Losing, by Rebecca Connell

The book, particularly the ending, walked a fine line between intensity and ridiculousness. Yet, I enjoyed it. I appreciated the two vastly different perspectives of a love affair gone wrong–from one of the lovers and from a child.

Its publisher, Europa Editions, has introduced some great authors from outside the United Sates. When I started reading its books, I expected differences across cultures to jump out. I wanted to experience something new.I am learning, however, that people share much more than I initially thought.

For example, Connell is a British author. Her story about infidelity takes place in England. When a woman learns that her husband is cheating on her, does her feelings differ if she is British compared to an American woman, a Chinese woman, or a Venezuelan woman?

Regardless of where she is, she’s going to be hurt, angry, and betrayed.

The International Crime Month magazine is here!

Our International Crime Month magazine is heading to the best bookstores around….

Featuring excerpts, interviews and essays by some of the best crime writers from around the globe, the magazine will soon be available free in a great indie bookstores near you. Click above to read the whole thing online, or pick up a print copy when they land. Want to stock it in your bookstore? Let us know!

Okay, You Win This Round, Community Bookstore

I usually read trashy books on my kindle nowadays, but a few weeks ago, I had time to kill, so I went to Community Bookstore. I bought The Scorpio Races for a gift for someone, This Side of Paradise, which I savored slowly like a good tumbler of whisky, and Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend.

Rachael has been on me for a while to get on the Europa edition bandwagon and I’ve been reticent. There are so few dystopias and so few medieval queens, guys. It’s just not my subway reading scene.

However, I noticed that My Brilliant Friend was featured prominently in the store. I asked the girl at the till if it was good and she honestly answered, “I haven’t read it, but most people are tearing through it like crazy.” I read the description. It’s a book about two female friends in Naples in the 50s. 

I bought it, but I was also like:

I started reading it unenthusiastically at brunch today and am more than a third of the way through it (and it’s not a short book).

So, basically, is it good?

It’s just…really well-written? And like, major props to the translator because it’s so hard to make foreign copy read well, let alone capture a cadence, diction and tone that surpasses 99% of native speaking writers.

Just wanted to share. I’m actually enjoying a “good” book.

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Di chi Lucrezia?  That’s always the question, not even which, but whose Lucrezia Borgia?  As evidenced in the various portraits and presumed portraits above, historically, there have been about as many different Lucrezia Borgias as there have been artists and historians (and gossips) to take the subject up.  It won’t be out in the US (from Europa Editions) until August 4th, but the Lucrezia Borgia to whom we are now most looking forward is The Pope’s Daughter, the first novel ever from the Nobel winning playwright and international treasure, Dario Fo. 

June is now International Crime Month. Mark it on your calendar with a bloody flag.

Melville House in the middle of an EPIC INDIE PRESS TEAM-UP with the folks at Akashic, Europa and Mysterious Press to celebrate great edgy crime writing from around the world. 

We’re like Voltron, but for bookish idealists who want to read about stabbings, I guess? A very complicated Voltron.

Anyhow we have a whole slew of incredible events happening throughout June. Read more about them here.

I am always concerned when people, finding out that I am a writer, apologise and say, “I’m not much of a reader actually. I know I ought to, but I just don’t seem able to find the time,” and then go on to tell me how they feel obliged to finish any book they begin. Well, of course, I say, you will be reluctant to open one in the first place, knowing what it might entail. It isn’t meant to be like that, I assure them. If you begin a book and you don’t like it, just throw it away. Or take it round to a charity shop. It’s like going to a party: some people you linger with, knowing you get on. Some people you exchange greeting with and move on fast. It’s nothing against them. They’re just not your kind of person. It’s the same with books. You must be prepared to discard. And though you may feel it’s a waste of money not reading a book you don’t get on with, that’s like not opening the windows when the weather turns warm for fear of wasting the central heating. So, as I say, now is a good point to abandon the book. You have my permission - even my encouragement.
A Review: You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik

Big parts of this piece I made up. I didn’t want to say that, but the editors are making me, because of certain scandals in the past with made-up stories, and because they want to distance themselves from me. Fine.

— John Jeremiah Sullivan, “Violence of the Lambs" 

—- 

I purchased You Deserve Nothing a few days before the troublesome Jezebel story broke: it’s not fiction, it’s true! Alexander Maksik had an affair with a student in Paris! Let outrage ensue.

Truth is a tricky thing. Maksik, Europa Editions (his publisher), and the American School of Paris, from which Maksik was dismissed as a teacher in 2006, declined to comment on Jezebel’s story. What we have are the words of some students, and, after reading the article’s accusations, I wonder why we choose to trust these youths as reliable journalistic sources but do not trust that they can make informed sexual decisions. When the school administration uncovers the student-teacher affair in You Deserve Nothing, they assume that the teacher “took advantage” of his impressionable (weak) student. The school therapist meets with Marie, the student, who remembers their sessions as such:

She kept saying it, He needed to assert his power. He took advantage of you. Do you understand? You must understand that. You have to understand it for you to heal.

Marie does not understand it, and the author makes it difficult for the reader to understand either. We are aware that Will loves the power of teaching. “All that attention, it’s hard to resist,” he admits. “You know that the subject you teach isn’t nearly as important as how you use it.” If Will, or Maksik for that matter, took it upon himself to teach more than English literature to a student, is it possible to judge whether that was an assertion of power or an extension of teaching or simply a man caring about a younger woman?

Keep reading

Border's Closing Sale

I was finally able to make it to Border’s before they closed.  I found a ton of Europa Editions (11 books!) for $4.50 each.  I was able to double my collection!  Some of the books are a little crinkled, but I’m so excited to have them!

Here is what I got:

  • God On The Rocks by Jane Gardam
  • Old Filth by Jane Gardam
  • The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
  • French Leave by Anna Gavalda
  • Heliopolis by James Scudamore
  • Cecilia by Linda Ferri
  • Limassol by Yishai Sarid and Barbara Harshaw
  • The Companion by Lorcan Roche
  • The Woman with the Bouquet by Eric-Emmanual Schmitt 
  • The Ides of March by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
  • Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson
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112th Street top ten best sellers of the week!