Modrá krev (Blue Blood, 2011) tells the story of Ida Zmoiro, whom Buida based on Soviet actress Valentina Karavaeva. “Actress” sounds glamorous, but Ida’s life is filled with pain: a brief marriage to an Englishman, an accident that ruins her film career by making her face look like a broken plate, the Stalinist repression, and the sudden appearance of a former husband’s wife and child. As Ida likes to say, “happiness makes you fat”. In this dark, Soviet-era transformation of a fairy tale, Buida creates his own myth of a bright soul in a world inhabited by drunkards, madmen and crooks.
Román jeho života
Zweig devoted ten years of research and writing to Balzac, which he regarded as his crowning achievement. This late work reads like a picaresque novel, with Balzac’s quest for “a woman with a fortune” and recurrent episodes of the author chasing an elusive pot of gold driving the story. This biography of one classic author by another is filled with Zweig’s characteristic psychological insights.
The Lily of the Valley (Le Lys dans la Vallée) is a long confession of a passionate love of a young man, Félix de Vandenesse, for a mature woman, Madame de Mortsauf. Unlike many others novels from La Comédie humaine that serve as a critique of social, political and moral conditions of his time, The Lily of the Valley depicts a timeless private theme of first love and its agony.
The novel is inspired by the life and the memoirs of the traveler Móric Beňovský (1746-1786), who is considered a national hero in Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.
Benyovszky was born and raised in Verbó, Kingdom of Hungary. In 1769, while fighting for the Polish armies under the Bar Confederation, he was captured by the Russians and exiled to Kamchatka. He subsequently escaped and returned to Europe via Macau and Mauritius, arriving in France. In 1773, Benyovszky reached agreement with the French government to establish a trading post on Madagascar.
Will be published: 4. 8. 2022
This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later. Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical silence and creates for her a fictional childhood, adolescence, and old age.
Published: 26. 5. 2022
Posted to Moscow as a young diplomat before the Second World War, Fitzroy Maclean travelled widely, with or without permission, in some of the wildest and remotest parts of the Soviet Union, then virtually closed to foreigners. In 1942 he fought as a founder member of the SAS in North Africa. There Maclean specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and outrageous kidnapping of the German Consul in Axis-controlled Iraq. In 1943 he parachuted into German-occupied Yugoslavia as Winston Churchill’s personal representative to Josip Broz Tito and remained there until 1945, all enemy attempts to capture him proving unsuccessful.
Short stories and novellas
In this sellection of 13 stories, which were published in the New Yorker, Gallant shows herself to be one of the century’s most accomplished, and least conventional, writers of short fiction.
One night, a phone rings in Paris. Adam learns that Mourad, once his closest friend, is dying. He quickly throws some clothes in a suitcase and takes the first flight out, to the homeland he fled twenty-five years ago. Exiled in France, Adam has been leading a peaceful life as a respected historian, but back among the milk-white mountains of the East his past soon catches up with him.