Book List: An Ode to Open Letter Books

This week, we are highlighting a small press we love: Open Letter Books. Based at the University of Rochester, Open Letter is a nonprofit that specializes in translations.

In their words: "Making world literature available in English is crucial to opening our cultural borders, and its availability plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy and vibrant book culture. Open Letter strives to cultivate an audience for these works by helping readers discover imaginative, stunning works of fiction and poetry and by creating a constellation of international writing that is engaging, stimulating, and enduring."

Here are a few of our favorite Open Letter books, and what we have to say about them:

The Brother Cover Image
By Rein Raud, Adam Cullen (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781940953441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - September 13th, 2016

"When was the last time you read a contemporary Estonian spaghetti Western? Recounted in sparse yet provocative prose, this is the story of a mysterious stranger who arrives in town to take revenge on the corrupt officials that cheated his sister out of her inheritance. Menacing, funny, dreamlike, and philosophical, this allegorical page-turner reads like the love-child of Cormac and Camus." –– Keaton


Tomas Jonsson, Bestseller Cover Image
By Guoberger Bergsson, Lytton Smith (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781940953601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - July 11th, 2017

Justine Cover Image
By Iben Mondrup, Kerri A. Pierce (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781940953489
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - November 15th, 2016

Frontier Cover Image
By Canxue, Karen Gernant (Translator), Zeping Chen
$16.95
ISBN: 9781940953540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - March 14th, 2017

"Frontier is an epic dreamscape of a novel. It starts with the point of view of Liujin, a single woman who has decided to stay in Pebble Town even after her parents move across the mountains. She sells goods in the market, ruminates on the lives of those around her, interacts with characters that may or may not be real. As the book moves through the viewpoints of various characters in the city, it unites all the individuals through similar sense of the placid, illuminating curiousity we find only in our dreams." –– Sara


The Things We Don't Do Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9781940953182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - August 25th, 2015

War, So Much War Cover Image
By Merce Rodoreda, Martha Tennent (Translator), Maruxa Relano (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781940953229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - November 10th, 2015

"I have so much love for this amazing, slim novel – the last published during influential Spanish writer Rodereda's lifetime. Charting the adventures of a young runaway by traversing the wartorn countryside of his homeland, it reads like a Catalonian CANTERBURY TALES by way of THE ROAD. A thrilling, uncanny, and haunting rumination on finding one's place in the world and the reality of evil. You won't be able to put it down."  –– Keaton


Street of Thieves Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781940953014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - November 11th, 2014

A Greater Music Cover Image
By Suah Bae, Deborah Smith (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781940953465
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - October 11th, 2016

"Bae Suah is one of my favorite writers right now. She is able to create layers upon layers of narrative and texture in such a small book. Pick it up and it will carry you for an impressively long period of time. Not a quick read, but a compelling one for sure!" –– Sara 


The Invented Part Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781940953564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - May 16th, 2017

Chronicle of the Murdered House Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781940953502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - December 13th, 2016

"Have you ever read a book and felt that you were holding in your hands a classic, something indipsensable to a language and a culture? Chronicle of the Murdered House is such an example. This book has hints of Dostoyevsky, Garcia Marquez and Antonio Lobo Antunes. Already a classic in Brazil - this book is not only beautifully written and profound, but a joy to read. The dysfunction of a prestigious family in a provincial Brazilian jungle, complete with gossip, backstabbing, cross-dressing and suicide attempts.There’s a fully-formed universe taking place in a run-down mansion rotting away in the jungle. Despite having the weight and breadth of a classic, its 600 pages fly by. I dare anyone to read it and not appreciate its artistry and breadth." –– Mark


Salki Cover Image
By Wojciech Nowicki, Jan Pytalski (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781940953588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - June 13th, 2017

The Future Is Not Ours: New Latin American Fiction Cover Image
By Diego Trelles Paz (Editor), Janet Hendrickson (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781934824641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Open Letter Books - July 17th, 2012

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