Nobrow Press | A Big Victory for William Grill!

The judges said of Shackleton’s Journey, ‘The detailed small illustrations wonderfully bring to life the intricacies of life during the journey, whilst the breath-taking larger illustrations provide a strong sense of scale and highlight the enormity of the natural world. This is an exciting, quality book which provides a true experience and reminds us that it is the people, not the journey, that truly matter’. 

Flying Eye / Nobrow author William Grill becomes the youngest winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal in 50 years for his stellar book, Shackleton's Journey.

German Book Office picks New Vessel's Who Is Martha?

From Shelf Awareness today:

The German Book Office New York has chosen Who Is Martha? by Marjana Gaponenko, translated by Arabella Spencer (New Vessel Press, $16.99, 9781939931139) as its October Book of the Month.


The GBO described the book this way: "In this rollicking novel, 96-year-old ornithologist Luka Levadski forgoes treatment for lung cancer and moves from Ukraine to Vienna to make a grand exit in a luxury suite at the Hotel Imperial. He reflects on his past while indulging in Viennese cakes and savoring music in a gilded concert hall. Levadski was born in 1914, the same year that Martha--the last of the now-extinct passenger pigeons--died. Levadski himself has an acute sense of being the last of a species. He may have devoted much of his existence to studying birds, but now he befriends a hotel butler and another elderly guest, who also doesn't have much time left, to share in the lively escapades of his final days. This gloriously written tale, in which Levadski feels 'his heart pounding at the portals of his brain,' mixes piquant wit with lofty musings about life, friendship, aging and death."

Marjana Gaponenko was born in 1981 in Odessa, Ukraine. She fell in love with the German language as a young girl, and began writing in German when she was 16. She has a degree in German studies from Odessa University. Who Is Martha? is her second novel and was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2013. She has also published volumes of poetry.

Arabella Spencer studied German and philosophy at King's College London and literary translation at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

New Yorker review by James Wood: Rediscovering Elizabeth Harrower

A fascinating article from the current issue of the New Yorker by James Wood about 86-year-old Australian novelist Elizabeth Harrower and her “new” novel, In Certain Circles (out now here in the US from Text / Consortium). It was originally set to be published back in 1971, but she withdrew it months before it was to come out.

Harrower deposited the manuscript of “In Certain Circles” in the National Library of Australia and essentially terminated her literary career. She has said that she thinks of her fiction as something abandoned long ago, buried in a cellar. She can’t now be bothered with writing. “I don’t know anybody who knows I’m a writer,” she said in 2012.
Her work might still be out of print if Michael Heyward and Penny Hueston, a married couple who run the Australian publishing house Text, hadn’t decided to start republishing it in 2012. They began with Harrower’s greatest novel, “The Watch Tower” (1966), the bitter story of two sisters, Laura and Clare, who lose their parents and fall under the sway of Felix Shaw, an abusive and controlling drunk. Over the next two years, Text published the rest of Harrower’s earlier work: “Down in the City” (1957), her first novel, and “The Long Prospect” (1958), her second, both of which she wrote in London; and “The Catherine Wheel” (1960), her third book. “In Certain Circles,” the withdrawn novel, was clearly the publisher’s most precious quarry. Heyward cajoled Harrower into letting him read the manuscript. She had not read any of her own work in forty years, and suspected that she might have to die before it was read again. Heyward thought the novel “extraordinary,” and Harrower agreed to its publication, perhaps figuring that death was a steep penalty for a comprehensive backlist.
— James Wood, The New Yorker

In Certain Circles | Elizabeth Harrower | Consortium | Text Publishing | 9781922182296 | $24.95 | Sept 2014