Scary Fairy Tales that are both comic and magical, from the under-appreciated Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, written in the late USSR. Dark as anything, deeply funny, and powerful. Each story is a short, 5-10 page burst of emotion, depression, black comedy and twisted endings. Not to be read in the dark. (This reviewer got through 4 stories on the tube one night before he had to sit down and play Angry Birds on his phone for 8 stops - still very much worth it though!)
A new masterpiece from Ukranian novelist Andrey Kurkov, author of the cult classic Death and the Penguin. In The Milkman in the Night, there are more surreal and comic things happening- including a sleepwalker who tries to solve the mystery of his own nocturnal adventures, an unemployed sniffer-dog handler making a dangerous discovery, a single mother who provides breast milk for an unusual recipient, and a vengeful cat on the loose. All in all, there are some very strange goings-on in Kiev.
Set in the decades before the rise of the Taliban, Ahmad's breathtaking stories explore the customs and cruelties of a culture seldom portrayed from the inside. A Pakistani boy, known as the wandering falcon, spends his life moving between remote tribal areas on the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tender and devastating.
Early one morning, two boys set out across a frozen lake. This beautifully told story is a small and finely-wrought epic, set in a remote part of Russia. A deeply touching tale of brotherhood, bravery and the wild dreams of childhood, this beautiful little book is published in a special limited edition by Daunt Books. Click here to read an extract.
A collection of 17 short stories written by Kipling while working as a journalist in India. Includes the intriguing story, The Man Who Would Be King, which describes the exploits of two Englishmen who set themselves up as Kings in a remote area of Afghanistan.
A magnificent novel that we recommend to our customers on a daily, nay hourly, basis. In this poignant story of thwarted young love set in Azerbaijan on the eve of WWI, Said deftly weaves a classic tale of religious division and the fight for independence. Don't miss 'The Orientalist' either, a cracking biography of the author.
A long overdue republication of Andrei Bely's novel Petersburg, a representation of the pre-revolution chaos in St Petersburg through the story of Nikolai Apollonovich, a young revolutionary who has been ordered to assassinate his own father. A classic and overwhelmingly influential piece of Russian literature described by Vladimir Nabokov as "one of the four most important works of twentieth century literature."
Ten-year-old Enaiatollah Akbari’s world is turned upside down when his father is murdered by bandits and he and his mother are forced to flee Afghanistan in search of a safe haven. When his mother warns him ‘in a strange, low voice as warming as embers’ that he must never steal or cheat, Enaiatollah doesn’t realise that soon she too will leave his side. Based on the true story of one child’s remarkable journey through Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy in search of asylum.
A worthy addition to Melville House's excellent The Art of the Novella series, this is an hilarious tale of a young girl's infatuation with a wildly popular fiddler who passes through her shtetl. Tender, funny and historically vivid.
Nadeem Aslam's powerful story of Lara, a woman trying to uncover the story of her brother's disappearance in Afghanistan twenty-five years earlier, a grieving British Muslim and an American jewel dealer. A violent, turbulent book about modern Afghanistan, written with the slow-paced, sensory exuberance of a poet.
Quite simply some of the finest war fiction ever written, Babel's Red Cavalry stories draw on his experiences as a journalist riding with the Cossacks in the 1920s. They retain to this day an astonishing freshness, and a depth of compassion and observation that only the very best can achieve. Recommended without hesitation.
A cracking collection of stories set in Central Asia. Bissell is also the author of the excellent 'Chasing The Sea' and his deep understanding of the region's landscape and people is equally clear here.
This beautiful and masterly existential novel, acclaimed ever since its publication on 1938, tells of Giovanni Drogo, an Italian soldier posted to an old fortress overlooking the desolate wastelands of the Steppe.
Childers' 1903 classic of European spy fiction still reads brilliantly. Hugely influential on writers, politicians and military strategists alike, it tells of an nautical journey on the Baltic coast that unearths a German plot to invade the British Isles. Essential.