A Regular Fix of Contemporary European Literature

While no slave to social networking, I do appreciate those needle in a haystack gems of information that twitter occasionally throws out. It’s a little like a child knowing that there is a lolly scramble going on behind a door that opens once a day and if you stand in one spot with your hand out, you might just catch something. Much of it passes us by, but the one that lands in the hand, is appreciated all the more for the scant chance it had of being captured.

Which is what this little tweet I caught in late May did.

I remembered that when I wrote about Deborah Levy’s Booker short-listed novel Swimming Home and mentioned the subscription based publisher And Other Stories, that @MarinaSofa mentioned Pereine Press. I looked at their website and started following them on twitter.

CIMG4717Pereine Press publish contemporary European literature, in the form of novellas, a new book coming out every 3 months. So they provide an opportunity to introduce readers to new authors, outside what we might normally read in English and a book that doesn’t require a long time to read, each book can supposedly be read in an afternoon. No 400+ page tomes here.

So the tweet reminded me that I did want to read their books and there’s nothing like the threat of a price increase to motivate one to act. So now I am a Pereine Press subscriber and I have the first two books from this years series on the shelf.

Mussel FeastEach year has a theme, in 2013 it is Revolutionary Moments and the first book is the German classic The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke which I have now read and will tell you about very soon. Very well-known in Germany I am sure and a gripping read, I devoured as hungrily as I would moules frites.

Not only does this subscription mean there will be European literature arriving regularly, but subscribers are invited to participate and attend literary events with the authors whose books have been published, including the revival of a literary salon, which sounds intriguing. The events take place in London and I hope one day I might coincide a visit to be able to attend one. I love that this type of event is coming back into vogue.

So more contemporary European literature reviews coming here soon…