Into my mailbox this month have come untold riches. And while I am consumed with reading as much of the long list for the IFFP as I can before April 9, I have these books to look forward to and share with you:
First, from SoHo Press comes Innocence by Heda Margolius Kovaly. It is translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker and will be published this June.
1950s Prague is a city of numerous small terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and surveillance. There is no way of knowing whether one’s neighbor is spying for the government or what one’s supposed friends will say under pressure to a state security agent. A loyal Party member might be imprisoned or executed as quickly as a traitor; innocence means nothing for a person caught in a trap.
But there are larger terrors, too. When a little boy is murdered at the cinema where his aunt works, the ensuing investigation sheds a little too much light on the personal lives of the cinema’s female ushers, each of whom is hiding a dark or haunting secret of her own.
Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls, says of Small Merices by Eddie Joyce:
Eddie Joyce’s terrific first novel is so American that the story might as well have taken place at the base of the Statue of Liberty. His Amendola family and their beloved Staten Island may be flawed, but they represent what’s best and most necessary in the American character, what our tired and poor still year for.
Paula McLain, bestselling author of The Paris Wife, says that The Tutor is “A sumptuous, page-turning account…I was completely captivated.”
Finally, the piece de resistance, a newly released translation of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
…Les Miserables has been a popular phenomenon since it was first published in 1862–most recently, award-winning screen and stage adaptations have held captive audiences world-wide. This year, Penguin Classics presents a deluxe edition of Christine Donougher’s compelling, contemporary new translation of the novel (the first new Penguin Classics translation in forty years), which highlights not only its emotional resonance and social observation, but also its quick wit and rich historical texture.
Have you received some books you’re anxious to read? Do any of these especially appeal to you? Looking forward to hearing about your mailboxes!