Monday, November 7, 2011

Mailbox Monday! All About Small Presses

It's been a slowish week in books as far as what I got sent, but quality makes up for quantity in this as in so many cases.
The massive European novel Eline Vere, by Louis Couperus, came from Archipelago Books, a nonprofit press doing translations of European and world literary fiction. They describe the book thus:
Couperus, widely considered one of the greatest Dutch novelists, gained prominence in 1889 with this psychological novel inspired by the naturalist style of Zola and the innovative characterizations of Flaubert. Eline, withdrawn and subject to depression, accepts the marriage proposal of a family friend, only to break off the engagement, convinced that her sickly but charismatic cousin Vincent is in love with her. Vincent drifts in other directions. She travels, dreams, and deteriorates. Moving back to The Hague, she lives alone in a hotel, where during a nervous crisis she takes what may or may not be an accidental overdose. Award-winning translator Ina Rilke’s new translation of this masterpiece will be a literary event.

I won Ivan and Misha, a Russian-American novel in stories, from Dolce Bellezza. Thanks M! I can't wait to read this. From Northwestern University Press, the official book description:
In Ivan and Misha, Michael Alenyikov portrays the complexities of love, sexuality, and the bonds of family with boldness and lyric sensitivity. As the Soviet Union collapses, two young brothers are whisked away from Kiev by their father to start life anew in America. The intricately linked stories in this powerful debut, set in New York City at the turn of the millennium, swirl about the uneasy bond between fraternal twins, Ivan and Misha, devoted brothers who could not be more different: Bipolar Ivan, like their father, is a natural seducer, a gambler who always has a scheme afoot between fares in his cab and stints in Bellevue. Misha struggles to create a sense of family with his quixotic boyfriend, Smith, his wildly unpredictable brother, and their father, Lyov ("Call me Louie!"), marooned in Brighton Beach yet ever the ladies' man. Father and sons are each haunted by the death of Sonya, a wife to Lyov, a mother to his sons. An evocative and frank exploration of identity, loss, dislocation, and desire, Ivan and Misha marks the arrival of a uniquely gifted voice in American fiction.
Last but by no means least comes Three Weeks in December, by Audrey Schulman, an early 2012 release from Europa Editions. From the Europa site:
Told in alternating perspectives that interweave [the] two characters and their fates, Audrey Schulman's newest novel deftly confronts the struggle between progress and preservation, idiosyncrasy and acceptance. Evoking both Barbara Kingsolver and Andrea Barrett, this enthralling fiction, wise and generous, explores some of the crucial social and cultural challenges that, over the years, have come to shape our world.
Sounds like some good stuff! What came into your mailbox this week? Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of  A Girl and Her Books and is being hosted at Mailbox Monday this month.  


Anna said...

Wow, what a great mailbox! These are all new to me but they sound fantastic. Happy reading!

Zibilee said...

I have heard good things about Ivan and Misha, and will be curious about what you think about the first section. Lots of great stuff that is new to me here. Enjoy it all!

Anonymous said...

I really want to read Three Weeks in December. Enjoy your books!

Vasilly said...

I love the cover of Three Weeks in December. Enjoy your books!

bermudaonion said...

It certainly does look like you got quality last week! I hope they're all fabulous!

Mystica said...

An interesting mailbox! all three look great reads.