Fiction

A Rock, a River, a Street
Steffani Jemison
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

An experimental novella about the bounds of the self and the many forms of embodied expression.

Where does your body end and the world begin? How do you locate the limit between your self and others? A Rock, A River, A Street follows a young, Black woman who lives at the hazy border between Brooklyn and Queens in the not so distant present. As she rides the subway, walks around her neighborhood, visits the doctor, watches movies, attends dance class and tries to heal her body, we are brought into her conflicted relationship with language, as she recalls formative experiences from her childhood and absorbs the world around her. Acutely conscious of the soft, responsive nature of her physical self, and pushed and pulled by forces she cannot control, the narrator is vulnerable, terrifyingly open. Everything and everyone leaves an impression. Brooklyn-based artist Steffani Jemison (born 1981) moves deftly across narrative genres and styles in this novella, as she interrogates the boundedness of the self, the possibilities of plurality and the limits of performance.

The Fifth Wound
Aurora Mattia
Nightboat Books - 20.00€ -

A baroque work of intimate myth exploring one woman's interdimensional search for beauty and embodiment, through kaleidoscopic renderings of hospital corridors, brutal breakups, and passionate romance. 

The Fifth Wound is a phantasmagorical roman à clef about passion as a way of life. In one dimension, this is a love story--Aurora & Ezekiel--a separation and a reunion. In another, we witness a tale of multiple traumatic encounters with transphobic violence. And on yet another plane, a story of ecstatic visionary experience swirls, shatters, and sparkles. Featuring time travel, medieval nuns, knifings, and t4t romance, The Fifth Woundindulges the blur between fantasy and reality. Its winding sentences open like portals, inviting the reader into the intimacy of embodiment--both its pain and its pleasures.  

Named a must read book of 2023 by Nylon, BookRiot, Vulture, The Millions, and Ms. Magazine! 

The Hour of the Star
Clarice Lispector
New Directions Publishing - 13.00€ -

The devastating final work by Brazil’s greatest modern writer, The Hour of the Star tells the haunting tale of Macabéa—a typist who lives in the slums of Rio—underfed, sickly, and unloved, yet inwardly free.

Translated from the Portuguese by Benjamin Moser. With a contribution by Paulo Gurgel and Valente Colm Tóibín.

We Want Everything
Nanni Balestrini
Verso Books - 18.00€ -

It was 1969, and temperatures were rising across the factories of the north as workers demanded better pay and conditions. Soon, discontent would erupt in what became known as Italy’s Hot Autumn. A young worker from the impoverished south arrives at Fiat’s Mirafiori factory in Turin, where his darker complexion begins to fade from the fourteen-hour workdays in sweltering industrial heat. His bosses try to withhold his wages. Our cynical, dry-witted narrator will not bend to their will. “I want everything, everything that’s owed to me,” he tells them. “Nothing more and nothing less, because you don’t mess with me.”

Around him, students are holding secret meetings and union workers begin halting work on the assembly lines, crippling the Mirafiori factory with months of continuous strikes. Before long, barricades line the roads, tear gas wafts into private homes, and the slogan “We Want Everything” is ringing through the streets.

Wrought in spare and measured prose, Balestrini’s novel depicts an explosive uprising. Introduced by Rachel Kushner, the author of the best-selling The Flamethrowers, We Want Everything is the incendiary fictional account of events that led to a decade of revolt.

Translated by Matt Holden
Introduction by Rachel Kushner

Lagoon
Samantha McCulloch
First Drafts - 18.00€ -

Part prose poem, part reflection on the relations between writing and place, Lagoon tells the story of the slow undoing of an idyll. In it the narrator walks for hours during long summer nights, gazing through the windows that line the streets. In between, she reflects on how she might write about the shifting space of the lagoon, where she spent summer holidays with her family years ago. In adolescence, the narrator watches quietly as her mother, father and sister go about building their holiday home. But she can sense something is awry, she just does not fully understand what.

Lagoon is the first novella by McCulloch.

Lagoon by Samantha McCulloch is the first title in Kunstverein Amsterdam's new imprint called First Drafts, which, inspired by artist and publisher Anne Turyn, celebrates experimental and commercially unviable work by publishing completed manuscripts that haven’t yet found a home in their first draft form. Importantly, each title is also the first attempt by the author to write in that particular form, or, to write at all.

Air Age Blueprint
K Allado-McDowell
Ignota Press - 22.00€ -

A young filmmaker’s life is disrupted by a fated encounter with a Peruvian healer. Called to twin paths of artistic creation and mystic truth-seeking, they set out on a transcontinental journey. In the Pacific Northwest they meet K, a double agent working between art and technology, who invites them to test a secret program called Shaman.AI. This human-machine experiment, rooted in magic, produces a key to rewriting reality – a manifesto describing how entangled human and non-human intelligence will remake our technologies, identities and deepest beliefs.

Allado-McDowell (along with their AI writing partner GPT-3) weave fiction, memoir, theory and travelogue into an animist cybernetics – an air age blueprint. 

Cover art by Somnath Bhatt

Burden of Ashes
Justin Chin
Manic D Press - 17.00€ -

The 20th anniversary edition of a groundbreaking Asian-American queer classic by celebrated author Justin Chin.

Floating somewhere between fiction and memoir, Burden of Ashes is a beautiful and brutal series of short stories in which childhood, homeland, and lovers both real and imagined succumb to whimsy, revision, denial, and truthful embellishment. Within these pages, Chin artfully creates a personal world where snake killings, demonic possession, the enigmatic pleasure of a deep kiss, cruelty, and compassion all co-exist. Actual events and fictional outcomes reconcile what has been lost, outgrown, and abandoned with what never was and what might have been.

With foreword by Alexander Chee.

Justin Chin (1969-2015) was born in Malaysia, raised and educated in Singapore, shipped to the U.S. by way of Hawaii, and resided in San Francisco until his passing. Among other accomplishments, he was the author of seven books, including Gutted (2006), winner of the Publishing Triangle's Thom Gunn Award for Poetry.

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel. A contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR, his essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, The Sewaneee Review, and the 2016 and 2019 Best American Essays. He is a 2021 United States Artists Fellow, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction, and the recipient of multiple awards and honors. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Babel-17/Empire Star
Samuel R. Delany
Vintage - 17.00€ -

Babel-17, winner of the Nebula Award for best novel of the year, is a fascinating tale of a famous poet bent on deciphering a secret language that is the key to the enemy's deadly force, a task that requires she travel with a splendidly improbable crew to the site of the next attack. For the first time, Babel-17 is published as the author intended with the short novel Empire Star, the tale of Comet Jo, a simple-minded teen thrust into a complex galaxy when he's entrusted to carry a vital message to a distant world. Spellbinding and smart, both novels are testimony to Delany's vast and singular talent.

Samuel R. Delany was born and raised in Harlem, where he still lives. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Cops Get Dead. Alexandre Benalla’s day out
Rona Lorimer
Ma Bibliotheque - 11.00€ -

COPS GET DEAD. Alexandre Benalla’s day out was written in several hours and was first performed at NO MONEY in London, May 2019, at the invitation of the NO MONEY organising group. It has also been performed in North Carolina, Washington, and New York in June, July, and August 2019. An earlier version of Cops Get Dead was edited and published by David Buuck in TRIPWIRE 16, July 2020, Oakland.

An early version, in which the sex workers from Livre Livret Liver (MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE 2019) end up in prison with Pierre Goldman (d. 1977) discussing Redoine Faïd’s most recent jailbreak (July 2018), called Livre Livret Liver Appendix: Two Hold ups & Some Suspended Sentences was performed at Mimosa House in London at the invitation of sabrina soyer and Theodora Domenech, in March 2019. It is included here.

The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories
Lynne Tillman
Semiotext(e) - 18.00€ -

The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories gathers together Lynne Tillman's groundbreaking fiction/essays on culture and places, monuments, artworks, iconic TV shows, and received ideas, written in the third person to record the subtle, ironic, and wry observations of the playful but stern "Madame Realism." This new collection also includes the complete stories of Tillman's other persona, the quixotic author Paige Turner (whose investigation of the language of love overshoots any actual experience of it), and additional stories and essays that address figures such as the "Translation Artist" and Cindy Sherman.

The Planetarium
Nathalie Sarraute
Dalkey Archive Press - 17.00€ -

A young writer has his heart set on his aunt's large apartment. With this seemingly simple conceit, the characters of The Planetarium are set in orbit and a galaxy of argument, resentment, and bitterness erupts. Telling the story from various points of view, Sarraute focuses below the surface, on the emotional lives of the characters in a way that surpasses even Virginia Woolf. Always deeply engaging, The Planetarium reveals the deep disparity between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us.

The author of eleven novels, three works of criticism, a collection of plays, and an autobiography, Nathalie Sarraute (1900-1999) is well-known as one of the prime proponents of the New Novel, alongside Alain Robbe-Grillet, Robert Pinget, and Claude Simon. Among her books are Do You Hear Them?, Martereau, Portrait of a Man Unknown, Between Life and Death, and Tropisms.

Faux Pas: Selected Writings and Drawings (2nd edition)
Amy Sillman
After 8 Books - 24.00€ -

This new edition of Faux Pas, the acclaimed collection of writings by Amy Sillman, comes as an expanded edition, with the addition of new essays, including recent texts on Paul Cézanne, Carolee Schneemann, Elizabeth Murray and Louise Fishman. The previously unpublished text from a lecture on drawing complements Sillman's views on color and shape. New drawings from 2020-22 include a selection of works on paper that were part of the artist's installation at the 59th International Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams, in 2022.

Since the 1970s, Sillman, a beloved and key figure of the New York art scene, has developed a singular body of work that includes large-scale gestural paintings blending abstraction with representation, as well as zines and iPad animations.

Over the past decade, Sillman has also produced stimulating essays on the practice of art or the work of other artists: for example, reevaluating the work of the abstract expressionists with a queer eye; elaborating on the role of awkwardness and the body in the artistic process; and discussing in depth the role and meanings of color and shape. Featuring a foreword by Lynne Tillman, Faux Pas gathers a significant selection of Sillman's essays, reviews and lectures, accompanied by drawings, most of them made specially for the book.

Faux Pas aims at revealing the coherence and originality of Sillman's reflection, as she addresses the possibilities of art today, favoring excess over good taste, wrestling over dandyism, forms over symbols, with as much critical sense as humor.

Based in New York City, Amy Sillman (born 1955) is an artist whose work consistently combines the visceral with the intellectual. She began to study painting in the 1970s at the School of Visual Arts and she received her MFA from Bard College in 1995. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Biennial in 2014 and the Venice Biennale in 2022; her writing has appeared in Bookforum and Artforum, among other publications. She is currently represented by Gladstone Gallery, New York.

Oval
Elvia Wilk
Soft Skull Press - 18.00€ -

In the near future, Berlin's real estate is being flipped in the name of "sustainability," only to make the city even more unaffordable; artists are employed by corporations as consultants; and the weather is acting strange. In search of affordable housing, young couple Anja and Louis move into a community on an artificial mountain, The Berg—yet another "eco-friendly" initiative run by a corporation called Finster. They're offered a home rent-free in exchange for keeping quiet about the seriously malfunctioning infrastructure of the experimental house. But when Louis returns home from his mother's funeral in America, Anja is convinced he has changed. He seems to be in denial of his grief and newly idealistic, consumed by a secret project at the NGO where he works as an artist-consultant. Anja is horrified when she discovers what Louis has invented: a pill called Oval that temporarily rewires the user's brain to be more generous. Louis is convinced that if he can introduce the drug into the Berlin club scene, he can finally remedy the income disparity that has made Berlin so unlivable.

Oval is a fascinating portrait of the unbalanced relationships that shape our world, as well as a prescient warning of what the future may hold.

Elvia Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York and Berlin. She writes about art, architecture, and technology for several publications, including frieze, Artforum, e-flux, Metropolis, Mousse, Flash Art, Art in America, and Zeit Online.

Fields
Julien Bruneau
Varamo Press - 18.00€ -

As a stretch of land cultivated for crops to grow, a field evokes sensuous associations of smells, turned soil, exposure to weather. In a sense, fields ground our entire sedentary civilization and the cultures it gave rise to. At the same time, the field is where bodies fall in battle, the site that hosts the perishing of things.

Interweaving strands of autobiography with mythological and cultural tropes, Julien Bruneau explores the field as a metaphor rich with meaning and possibility. How do we inhabit fields and their furrows? How in turn do their history and imagination traverse us? As if it were a dance on the page, Fields invites the reader to encounter, think and feel our entanglement with space and places.

Julien Bruneau is an artist working with dance, presence, drawing and writing. His interest lies in the dynamic interplay between interiority and the collective.

Sinkhole: Three Crimes
Rosanna McLaughlin
Montez Press - 16.00€ -

A novel in three parts, Sinkhole: Three Crimes submerges readers in a grotesque and comical world on the edge of collapse – much like our own. Britain is immersed in a toxic swamp, and sinkholes are opening up in the ground with alarming frequency. Amid the mayhem, three crimes take place: Stonehenge has been stolen, a porn-addicted ghost writer faces the phantoms of her past, and a murder takes place among ex-pats in a Goan village. 

‘An acidly funny vivisection of British mores and follies, delivered with razor wit and style. McLaughlin’s creative imagination is restless, wide-ranging and prescient, unveiling a terrifyingly plausible array of futures.’ – Leon Craig, author of Parallel Hells 

‘Sinkhole is a twisted dystopian satire that captures all the maladies of modern England – a sick and perverse nation – in hilarious, pin-sharp definition, as it slides back under the waves.’ – Huw Lemmey, author of Red Tory: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell

Rosanna McLaughlin is an author and cultural critic. Double-Tracking, her debut collection of satirical essays and short fiction on the subject of middle-class duplicities, was published by Carcanet in 2019. An original proposal for the book was shortlisted for the Fitzcarraldo Essay Prize in 2016. Rosanna has written on subjects including Ariana Grande, the legacy of Section 28, and the weaponisation of Ana Mendieta. In 2017, she was writer-in-residence for the British Council Caribbean, researching the political fallout following Mendieta’s death. Her reviews and essays have been published in frieze magazine, ArtReview and the Guardian, among other places. She is co-editor of The White Review.

The Sky is Falling
Lorenza Mazzetti
Another Gaze Editions - 14.00€ -

First published in 1961, Lorenza Mazzetti’s “The Sky is Falling” (“Il cielo cade”) is an impressionistic, idiosyncratic, and uniquely funny look at the writer’s childhood after she and her sister are sent to live with their Jewish relatives following the death of their parents. Bright and bucolic, vivid and mournful, and brimming with saints, martyrdom, ideals, wrong-doing and self-imposed torments, the novel describes the loss of innocence and family under the Fascist regime in Italy during World War II through the eyes of Mazzetti’s fictional alter ego, Penny, in sharp, witty (and sometimes petulant) prose.

First translated into English as “The Sky Falls” by Marguerite Waldman in 1962, with several pages missing due to censorship, the novel has been out of print in the anglophone world for many years. We are proud to reissue the text in a beautiful new translation by Livia Franchini that carries over the playfulness and perverse naivete of the original Italian. 

“Il cielo cade” is so much more than just a book about the horrors of the Second World War. It is as much a loving homage to the picture-perfect childhood Mazzetti’s aunt and uncle provided for her and her sister before circumstances beyond their control overwhelmed them, and thus also a moving portrait of the cruel loss of childhood innocence” – Lucy Scholes, “The Paris Review”.

LORENZA MAZZETTI (1928 – 2020) drew, made films, wrote novels and towards the end of her life ran a puppet theatre in Rome.

Mazzetti first discovered filmmaking in the U.K.. Upon arriving in London in the late 1940s, Mazzetti was admitted in unconventional style to the Slade (the day before term began and having not enrolled, she went to the director and told him she was a genius) and swapped her sketchbook for celluloid after finding some film equipment in the school’s store cupboard. She was the first woman to receive public funding in the UK for her film “Together” (1956), which was presented as part of the first Free Cinema programme at the National Film Theatre in 1956 alongside films by Lindsay Anderson, Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz.

When Mazzetti returned to Italy in the late 1950s, she gave up filmmaking and turned to writing. Her first novel, “Il cielo cade” (1961) was awarded the prestigious Premio Viareggio prize, and still appears on the Italian school curriculum.

Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger
Brontez Purnell
Feminist Press - 18.00€ -

A dirty cult-classic put out in a small batch by an underground publisher (Rudos and Rubes) in 2015, Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger recounts the life of an artist and "old school homosexual" who bears a big resemblance to author Brontez Purnell.

Our hero doesn't trust the new breed of fags taking over San Francisco, though. They wear bicycle helmets, seat belts, and condoms. Meanwhile, he sabotages his relationships, hallucinating affection while cruising in late night parks, bath-houses, and other nooks and crannies of a newly-conservative, ruined city.

Furiously original, vital, and messy, this funny "non-memoir" uncovers a revelatory truth for the age: there are things far scarier than HIV.

Tripticks
Ann Quin
And Other Stories - 16.00€ -

First published in 1972, Ann Quin's fourth and final novel was a radical break from the introspective style she had developed in Three and Passages: a declaration of independence from all expectations.

Brashly experimental, ribald, and hilarious, Tripticks maps new territories for the novel—aspiring to a form of pop art via the drawings of the artist Carol Annand and anticipating the genre-busting work of Kathy Acker through collage and gory satire.

Splattering its pages with the story of a man being chased across a nightmarish America by his "first X-wife," and her "schoolboy gigolo," Tripticks was ground zero for the collision of punk energy with high style.

Die, My Love
Ariana Harwicz
Charco Press - 16.00€ -

In a forgotten patch of French countryside, a woman is battling her demons embracing exclusion yet wanting to belong, craving freedom whilst feeling trapped, yearning for family life but at the same time wanting to burn the entire house down. Given surprising leeway by her family for her increasingly erratic behaviour, she nevertheless feels ever more stifled and repressed. Motherhood, womanhood, the banality of love, the terrors of desire, the inexplicable brutality of another person carrying your heart forever Die, My Love faces all this with a raw intensity. It s not a question of if a breaking point will be reached, but rather when and how violent a form will it take?

A manic, bruising stream of conscious portrayal of a mother and wife struggling to maintain both a normal life and her sanity.

Compared to Nathalie Sarraute and Virginia Woolf, Ariana Harwicz is one of the most radical figures in contemporary Argentinian literature. Her prose is characterised by its violence, eroticism, irony and criticism of the clichés surrounding the notions of the family and conventional relationships. Born in Buenos Aires in 1977, Harwicz studied screenwriting and drama in Argentina, and earned a degree in Performing Arts from the University of Paris VII as well as a Master's in comparative literature from the Sorbonne. She has taught screenwriting and written plays, which have been staged in Buenos Aires. Feebleminded (which has also been adapted for the stage in Argentina and Spain) is her second novel and a sequel in an 'involuntary' trilogy, preceded by Die, My Love (Charco Press, 2017) and followed by Precocious. Her fourth novel, Degenerate comes out in June 2019. Die, My Love was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize (2018) and shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize (2018). It has been translated into more than ten languages.

ABÉCÉDAIRE
Sharon Kivland
Moist Books - 16.00€ -

“I wrote (more or less, for promises are always hard to keep, even those made to oneself ) for five days a week for a year. I wrote no more than a page, or rather, I wrote only for the length of the analytic hour, fifty minutes (though I also practiced the variable session at times)… I followed Freud’s model of train travel for his theory of free association, acting ‘as though, for instance, [you were] a traveller sitting next to the window of a railway carriage and describing to someone inside the carriage the changing views which [you] see outside’. As for my characters, many of their names begin with A. Some of these women exist or existed, others are from fiction, or write fiction. Some are friends or acquaintances. None are credited but a keen reader could recognise many of them. I invented nothing. I am the aleph.”

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