Sibylle Lewitscharoff - The novel centres on a fictionalised version of the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg, most famous for his concept of ‘metaphorology’, who died in 1996.Themes and style alike contribute to the overall effect: a clever blend of poetry, philosophy and comedy by an author who is a master of her craft

Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Blumenberg, Trans. by Wieland Hoban, Seagull Books, 2017.

One night, German philosopher Hans Blumenberg returns to his study to find a shocking sight—a lion lying on the floor as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. The lion stretches comfortably on the Turkmen rug, eyes resting on Blumenberg. The philosopher retains his composure with some effort, even when the next day during his lecture the lion makes another appearance, ambling slowly down the centre aisle. Blumenberg glances around—the seats are full, but none of his students seem to see the lion. What is going on here? Blumenberg is the captivating and witty fictional tale of this likeable philosopher and the handful of students who come under the spell of the supernatural lion—including skinny Gerhard Optatus Baur, a promising young Blumenbergian, and the delicate, haughty Isa, who falls head over heels in love with the wrong man. Written by Sibylle Lewitscharoff, whom Die Welt called the ‘most daz…

JR Carpenter - both a condensation of media history and a comment on the current environmental weight of clouds. This book reminds us that cloud computing is one of the backbones of contemporary culture.

JR Carpenter, The Gathering Cloud, Uniform Books, 2017. 

The Gathering Cloud aims to address the environmental impact of so-called 'cloud' computing by calling attention to the materiality of the clouds in the sky. Both are commonly perceived to be infinite resources, at once vast and immaterial; both, decidedly, are not. Fragments of text from Luke Howard's classic Essay on the Modifications of Clouds (1803) and other more recent online articles and books on media and the environment are pared down into hyptertextual hendecasyllabic verses. These are situated within surreal animated gif collages composed of images materially appropriated from publicly accessible cloud storage services. The cognitive dissonance between the cultural fantasy of cloud storage and the hard facts of its environmental impact is bridged, in part, through the constant evocation of animals: A cumulus cloud weighs one hundred elephants. A USB fish swims through a cloud of cables. Four million cute ca…

Gareth Twose - The poetry parodies political language, marketing spiel, and the mores of contemporary society; but it's overall feel is not one of anger, but of humanity and wit; the language resisting these political and commercial forces by its sheer effervescence.

Gareth Twose, Sven Types of Terrorism, Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2017.
sample (pdf)

In a recent interview in The Paris Review, J H Prynne, commenting on a poetry reading he had just attended, said "These poems we heard this evening, some of them were quite witty, some of them were adept. But they're all poems written by a poet, and I could do without that." Prynne continues, "To hear poems that were written by a poet is to find them trapped in the poetic habits from which they originate." Gareth Twose's poetry, in this book, is not trapped in poetic habit. This is the opening of part 5 of Twose's sequence "Sven Types of Terrorism": "Born irritated. Norman killer. Check top right, Bayeux Tapestry, the guy aiming syringe into eyeball of English Boeuf head. No way does this guy queue. I mean, slowing down, stopping. Every road a race track. The name on my vest: Discovery: deep blue, the patches of planet earth as seen from spa…

Manuel Pérez Subirana - A moving, tragicomic novel about defeat, memory, and the seductive prospect of losing it all.

Manuel Pérez Subirana, Losing Is What Matters, Trans. by Allen Young, dalkey Archive Press, 2017.

When his marriage and career fall apart, a young lawyer sets out on a desperate mission to recapture the promise of his youth. His attempt leaves him stranded between a past he no longer recognizes and a life that’s no longer his—and he soon begins to suspect that the surest path to happiness lies in simply giving up. A moving, tragicomic novel about defeat, memory, and the seductive prospect of losing it all.

“Mature, free-flowing prose with Proustian comparisons and images—very rare for a first novel. An author endowed with a style in the tradition of the finest narrative, with a densely personal world.”
Joaquín Arnáiz

A Spanish lawyer’s life falls apart in the days after he’s dumped by his woman.
Spanish novelist Subirana plumbs the depths of despair in this philosophical portrait of a man whose life is becoming undone. We meet 33-year-old attorney Carlos Mestres Ruiz in the hours aft…

Jan Křesadlo - A complex torrent of black humour mixed with rollicking slapstick clowning, of sexual exploitation mixed with warm family love, of sharp, pointed, observations mixed with bizarre and fantastic episodes reminiscent of Meyrink and Kafka

Jan Křesadlo, GraveLarks, Václav Z J Pinkava,Jantar Publishing, 2016. [1984.]excerpt

Set in Stalinist-era Central Europe, GraveLarks is a triumphant intellectual thriller navigating the fragile ambiguity between sado-masochism, black humor, political satire, murder, and hope. Zderad, a noble misfit, investigates a powerful party figure in 1950s Czechoslovakia. His struggle against blackmail, starvation, and betrayal leaves him determined to succeed where others have failed and died. This extended edition includes critical texts and analyses with illustrations by Jan Pinkava, Oscar-winning animator. GraveLarks is a fictionalized account of the life of French troubadour poet Villon set in 1950s Stalinist Czechoslovakia. The vagabond and ""bohemian"" Villon is transposed into the vagabond intellectual and ""bohemian"" Zderad. Singing, drinking, deviant sex, and blackmail ensue. The author and publisher Josef Skvorecky described the text a…