As the winter season nears its end, we’re slowly but surely turning our attention to the warmer climes of spring, an altogether more pleasant time traditionally celebrated with fragrant flowers, long walks, and fantastic books.
In this meantime of collective uncertainty, it brings me great joy to report that there will be no shortage of fantastic works of literature in translation to enjoy in the near future. This spring Two Lines Press will release three such works.
On Tuesday, March 9th, we’ll publish Elemental, the third book in our biannual Calico Series. Subtitled “Earth Stories,” the work contained in Elemental spans nations, languages, and even genres, bringing together eight distinct writers and translators interested in—to put it plainly—life on a shared planet. How do we interact with stones, for example? What do they mean to us? What do we mean to them?
An encounter with Elemental is a reminder of our shared experience and the urgency required to preserve the delicate balance between human progress (or “progress”) and the health of the planet and all its inhabitants. This truly global collection features fantastic new writing—short stories and reportage—from Japan, Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Germany, and beyond, all in magnificent translation. Hugh Raffles, author of last year’s magnificent The Book of Unconformities (a TLP staff favorite), calls it “a celebration of both storytelling and translation…a gift that opens up the pleasures of new worlds.”
We’ll celebrate Elemental with our friends at Point Reyes Books on March 11th. Join us then for what’s certain to be a wonderful conversation. You can RSVP here.
Tuesday, April 13th, we’re proud to publish Bruno Lloret’s mesmerizing Nancy, in translation from Spanish by Ellen Jones. Already praised by critics, booksellers, and writers like Alejandro Zambra (My Documents) and Jazmina Barrera (On Lighthouses), Lloret’s debut novel gives voice to Nancy, who, from her deathbed, recounts her youth in Chile.
Populated by disappearing family members, Mormon missionaries, creepy gringos, medical documents, and X after X after X, Nancy’s tale of her (arguably) small life, innovatively told by Bruno Lloret, grows into something truly memorable: an incantation toward the power and purpose of storytelling uttered in the dark. Called a “visually striking fever dream” by Publishers Weekly and evidence of a “new, unexpected, dissident realism” (Alejandro Zambra), Nancy signals the arrival of a thoughtful, innovative new voice in Latin American letters. Not to be missed.
To close out the season, we’ll publish Mohamed Kheir’s English-language debut, a book, in his wonderful words, of “possible miracles.” Coming June 8th, Slipping, translated from Arabic by Robin Moger, follows Seif, a struggling journalist, as he journeys through Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring. Joined by a mysterious source, an expert in the nation’s everyday, magical places, Seif reacquaints himself with a country determined to remain a mystery to him, especially after the failed revolution and all of the personal traumas that came along with that incredible moment.
Told in vignettes that involve everything from child-eating foliage to perma-humming apartment buildings to ghost dads, Slipping is a magnificent exploration of what language can do and how stories can work in this complicated world of ours, if only we put them to the task. Al Modon calls it “an extraordinarily sensitive feat of literary engineering” and that’s it exactly, an adventure through prose with its eyes on the prize: a better understanding of what it means to exist in the magical, boring, extremely simple, terribly complicated world around us.
Sunshine or no, it’s going to be a great season by the looks of it. Please send any media requests to hello[at]nectarliterary.com. All other inquiries can be sent right to me at cfelix[at]twolinespress.com. Thanks for reading.