Open Letter Books
Showing 1–12 of 14 results
Zach’s journey unleashes a series of erratic, hilarious, and life-threatening events interspersed with flashbacks to his relationship with Stella. The story shifts from present day California to Eastern Europe in the late eighties, flows briefly through France, and climaxes in a penthouse above Manhattan. A suspenseful, darkly funny love story.
A Short Tale of Shame$13.95
After deciding to take a semester off their studies to think about future plans, long-time friends Maya, Sirma, and Spartacus decide to hitchhike to the sea. Boril Krustev, former rock star and middle-aged widower who is driving aimlessly to outrun his grief, picks them up and accompanies them on their journey. It doesn’t take them long to figure out they’re connected to each other by more than their need to travel—specifically through Boril’s daughter, whose actions damaged each of the characters in this novel.
A Thousand Morons$12.95
A Thousand Morons, Quim Monzó’s latest collection of short stories, is rife with very unfortunate characters. There’s the young boy in “A Cut” who is upbraided by his teacher when he rudely shows up for class with a huge gash in his neck. And the prince in “One Night” who tries everything to awaken a sleeping princess—yet fails completely.
A Thousand Peaceful Cities$14.95
A comic gem, Jerzy Pilch’s A Thousand Peaceful Cities takes place in 1963, in the latter days of the Polish post-Stalinist “thaw.” The narrator, Jerzyk (“little Jerzy”), is a teenager who is keenly interested in his father, a retired postal administrator, and his father’s closest friend, Mr. Traba, a failed Lutheran clergyman, alcoholic, and would-be Polish insurrectionist. One drunken afternoon, Mr. Traba and the narrator’s father decide to take charge of their lives and do one final good turn for humanity: travel to distant Warsaw and assassinate the de facto Polish head of state, First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party, Wladyslaw Gomulka—assassinating Mao Tse-tung, after all, would be impractical. And they decide to involve Jerzyk in their scheme…
Europe in Sepia$13.95
Hurtling between Weltschmerz and wit, drollness and diatribe, entropy and enchantment, it’s the juxtaposition at the heart of Dubravka Ugresic’s writings that saw Ruth Franklin dub her “the fantasy cultural studies professor you never had.”
Everything Happens as It Does$12.95
Albena Stambolova’s idiosyncratic debut novel, Everything Happens as It Does, builds from the idea that, as the title suggests, everything happens exactly the way it must. In this case, the seven characters of the novel—from Boris, a young boy who is only at peace when he’s around bees, to Philip and Maria and their twins—each play a specific role in the lives of the others, binding them all together into a strange, yet logical, knot.
Told more or less in reverse chronological order, High Tide is the story of Ieva, her dead lover, her imprisoned husband, and the way their youthful decisions dramatically impacted the rest of their lives. Taking place over three decades, High Tide functions as a sort of psychological mystery, with the full scope of Ieva’s personal situation—and the relationship between the three main characters—only becoming clear at the end of the novel.
Party Headquarters takes place in the ’80s and ’90s, during Bulgaria’s transition from communist rule to democracy. The book—which is a love story, a parody, and a thriller about a political hoax—opens with the main character visiting his father-in-law, an old communist party boss who is dying, and being tasked with delivering a suitcase filled with one-and-a-half million euros.
Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters$16.95
Rich in historical detail, Rochester Knockings novelizes the rise and fall of these most infamous of mediums, the Fox Sisters, and sheds a unique light on the impressionability and fragility of nineteenth-century America.
Rock, Paper, Scissors$16.95
Naja Marie Aidt’s long-awaited first novel is a breathtaking page-turner and complex portrait of a man whose life slowly devolves into one of violence and jealousy.
Loosely based on the true story of Binjamin Wilkomirski, whose fabricated 1995 Holocaust memoir transfixed the reading public, The Canvas has a singular construction—its two inter-related narratives begin at either end of the book and meet in the middle.
“A novel as suspenseful as it is complex.”
—Deutsche Welle TV
The Physics of Sorrow$14.95
Using the myth of the Minotaur as its organizing image, the narrator of Gospodinov’s long-awaited novel constructs a labyrinth of stories about his family, jumping from era to era and viewpoint to viewpoint, exploring the mindset and trappings of Eastern Europeans.