Peirene title no 24

Dance by the Canal

Kerstin Hensel


A tragicomic satire from the heart of East Germany.

Gabriela grows up in the East German town of Leibnitz. Her father is a famous surgeon, her mother a respected society hostess. The girl, however, struggles to fulfil their expectations. She shows no talent as a violinist and, worse, she fails to choose the right friends at school. When her father falls out of favour with the communists, Gabriela drops out of school. Eventually she ends up living beneath a canal bridge. Then the Wall falls. Can Gabriela seize a second chance in the new, united, Germany?

'An intense story... grotesque, macabre, poetic.' Neues Deutschland

‘An authentic story of East Germany.’ Die Ost-West-Wochenzeitung

’30 years of East German history narrated with laconic irony.’ Die Zeit

Translated from the German by Jen Calleja.

East and West Series
120pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published September 2017
ISBN 978-1-908670-38-0
eISBN 978-1-908670-39-7

Peirene title no 23

The Orange Grove

Larry Tremblay




War takes no prisoners. It involves everyone - even children.

Twin brothers, Amed and Aziz, live in the peaceful shade of their family’s orange grove. But when a bomb kills the boys’ grandparents, they become pawns in their country’s civil war. Blood demands more blood and, at the command of a local militant group, either Ahmed or Aziz must strap on a belt of explosives and make the ultimate sacrifice. Years later, the surviving twin works as an actor in wintry Montreal. A theatre director gives him a role that forces the young man to reconsider his decisions. Will Ahmed – or is it Aziz? – release himself from the past?

‘Nuanced but contrasting. Rough but also sensual. Shot through with powerful dialogues but never rambling. This kind of writing takes guts.’ Le Devoir

‘A little jewel, finely chiseled.’ Elle

‘Larry Tremblay’s ability [is] not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel it with finesse and beauty.’ Toronto Sun

‘The voluntary simplicity of Tremblay’s writing recalls the story of Cain and Abel or the parable of the Prodigal Son... With The Orange Grove, Tremblay gives us a novel we should read...not once, but twice.’ La Presse (Quebec)

Translated from the French by Sheila Fischman.

East and West Series
160pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published May 2017
ISBN 978-1-908670-36-6
eISBN 978-1-908670-37-3

Peirene title no 22

The Last Summer

Ricarda Huch


A psychological thriller by the pioneering German writer Ricarda Huch. A novel of letters from the last century – but one with an astonishingly modern feel. Now for the first time in English.

Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. To counter student unrest, the governor of St Petersburg closes the state university. Soon afterwards he arrives at his summer residence with his family and receives a death threat. His worried wife employs a young bodyguard, Lju, to protect her husband. Little does she know that Lju sides with the students – and the students are plotting an assassination.

‘She is the First Lady of Germany. No, she is probably the First Lady of Europe.’ Thomas Mann

'A captivating and at times electrifying read, one which expertly evokes the instability and tension of the period... A remarkable lost-and-found classic.' Malcom Forbes, The National

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch.

East and West Series
120pp, paperback with flaps, £12
Published February 2017
ISBN 978-1-908670-34-2
eISBN 978-1-908670-35-9