Best of 2014 in review

Best of 2014

Congratulations to our authors and translators! Our seven new titles in 2014 made the following Best Books of 2014 lists!

By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

Book of the Year 2014 for Financial Times, Foyles bookshop, Bookbag site

(November 2014 publication)

‘The volcanic island of Annobón, off the west African coast, provides the setting for this novel about a poor community facing a series of natural disasters. Survival, hope and despair wrestle in this surprising work by Equatorial Guinea’s leading author.’ – Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times (Chosen as 1 of 7 Translated Books of the Year 2014)

‘Annobón, where Ávila Laurel was born, is a remote island in the south Atlantic forming part of the nation of Equatorial Guinea. His fictionalised account of his childhood there employs a striking voice, adult revisionism of his child’s-eye perspective, trying to make sense of a culture where the primitive – bartering is still preferred to money – rubs up against the intrusions of the industrialised world.’ – Jonathan Ruppin, Foyles bookshop, Best Fiction of 2014

‘Sometimes a novel will startle because it tackles a topic totally unknown to us or tells us of lives previously un-imagined. This is the case with By Night the Mountain Burns. However, what is most remarkable about Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel’s novel is how easy it is to slip into the story of a child growing up on an isolated island in Equatorial Guinea. We are not reading about mysterious ‘others’. We’re reading about people like ourselves, who live in a different place which has its own constraints – namely poverty and isolation.’ – The Bookbag, Top 10 Literary Fiction Books of 2014

October 2014:

An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy

Book of the Year 2014 in Salon

(October 2014 publication)

Daniel Levin Becker, editor at The Believer, picks An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell as one of his books of the year in Salon‘s Books of the Year lists.

Nowhere People by Paulo Scott

Book of the Year 2014 for World Literature Today, PEN Atlas, Booktrust

(August 2014 for Europe and September 2014 for North America)

Nowhere People by Paulo Scott stands way out among the books I read in 2014. It’s the kind of novel you read and already look forward to reading it again although it makes such a painful read. Translated from the Brazilian Portuguese by Daniel Hahn, it is an innovative and emphatic j’accuse by a former lawyer and activist, a great example of the possibility of political engagement through literature, a reminder of one of the worst crimes in the history of mankind, the crime of displacing and annihilating indigenous people around the globe. Read this if you don’t mind crying.’ – Alexandra Büchler, director of Literature Across Frontiers, PEN Atlas, Best Books in Translation

‘Short, shocking, lyrical, and very modern novel, Nowhere People is one of 2014’s most exciting releases in any language … bold, fragmentary, funny and sad, it reproduces the texture of contemporary life with irony and love, and deals with the last two decades of the twentieth century in a way that’s all about the twenty-first.’ – Pete Mitchell, Booktrust, Best Translated Books of 2014

Nowhere People makes World Literature Today‘s list of Notable Translations in 2014

The Matiushin Case by Oleg Pavlov

Book of the Year for Booktrust

(July 2014 publication)

‘[A] small stunner: brutal, salty, pulsing with hallucinatory beauty and lyrical grace … Pavlov’s portrait of helpless young men trapped in an insane system comes out as a sly, sad, occasionally joyous tragicomedy about power, helplessness, escape, and what it’s like to be young.’ – Pete Mitchell, Booktrust, Best Translated Books of 2014

Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones

Book of the Year 2014 for World Literature Today and Three Percent

(May 2014 publication)

Sworn Virgin makes World Literature Today’s list of Notable Translations in 2014

Sworn Virgin makes Three Percent’s list of spectacular Books in Translation 2014

The Restless Supermarket by Ivan Vladislavić

Book of the Year 2014 for Neel Mukherjee (Irish Times) and Jason Diamond (Volume1Brooklyn)

(April 2014 publication)

‘The Restless Supermarket, by Ivan Vladislavic (And Other Stories), is set in turn-of-the-regime South Africa and features an unknowing, unreliable, white, racist narrator, Aubrey Tearle. It can be read as Vladislavic’s homage to Nabokov’s Pale Fire and is as imaginatively wild, as brilliantly conceived and written.’ – Neel Mukherjeee, Books of the Year, The Irish Times

‘Like a post-apartheid Archie Bunker, Vladislavic’s novel that takes place in the days leading up to Nelson Mandela’s election is funny only because it’s so sad to watch a person so stuck in their ways who are unable to accept change.’ – Jason Diamond, Volume1Brooklyn, Books of the Year 2014

A Map of Tulsa by Benjamin Lytal

Book of the Year 2014 for The Workshy Fop review site

(March 2014 publication)

‘A Map of Tulsa was a surprise favourite.’ Thom Cuell, The Workshy Fop, Books of the Year 2014


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