Peirene title no 15

Under The Tripoli Sky

Kamal Ben Hameda


A fascinating portrait of a pre-Gaddafi society on the verge of change.

Tripoli in the 1960s. A sweltering, segregated society. Hadachinou is a lonely boy. His mother shares secrets with her best friend, Jamila, while his father prays at the mosque. Sneaking through the sun drenched streets of Tripoli, the boy listens to the whispered stories of the women. He turns into an invisible witness to their repressed desires as he becomes aware of his own.

'The reader feels he is peeking through a half-drawn curtain on a secret feminine world in a patriarchal society... It is excellent.' David Mills, Sunday Times

Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

Coming-of-Age Series
112pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published September 2014
ISBN 978-1-908670-16-8
eISBN 978-1-908670-17-5


Peirene title no 14

The Blue Room


GUARDIAN PAPERBACK OF THE YEAR 2014

A novel about a mother-daughter relationship that will send a chill down your spine.

Johanne is a young woman in her twenties who lives with her mother. When she falls in love with Ivar, she finally feels ready to leave home. The couple plan a trip to America. But the morning of her departure, Johanne wakes up to find the door locked. Can she overcome her fears? Will she shout for help? Will she climb out of her fourth floor window?

'A highly unusual, coolly daring psychological thriller.' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

'Ørstavik treats the everyday and existential with intensity.' Max Lui, Independent

Translated from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

Coming-of-Age Series
176pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published June 2014
ISBN 978-1-908670-15-1
eISBN 978-1-908670-18-2


Peirene title no 13

The Dead Lake

Hamid Ismailov


LONG-LISTED FOR THE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE 2015
LONG-LISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2016
INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014
GUARDIAN READERS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014

A haunting Russian tale about the environmental legacy of the Cold War.

Yerzhan grows up in a remote part of Kazakhstan where the Soviets tests atomic weapons. As a young boy he falls in love with the neighbour’s daughter and one evening, to impress her, he dives into a forbidden lake. The radio-active water changes Yerzhan. He will never grow into a man. While the girl he loves becomes a beautiful woman.

'An unusual parable of a modern arms race cruelly impacting on a traditional way of life.' Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail

'Ismailov's ability to show how lives seemingly on the periphery are at the heart of the human experience – and to leave us enraged and bewitched – confirms him as a writer of immense poetic power.' Kapka Kassabova, Guardian

Translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield.

Coming-of-Age Series
128pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published February 2014
ISBN 978-1-908670-14-4
eISBN 978-1-908670-19-9