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LPG -Spring 2020 Group Catalogue

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The Pine Islands
By (author): Marion Poschmann Translated by: Jen Calleja
Marion Poschmann ,

Translated by :

Jen Calleja

Imprint:

Coach House Books

ISBN:

9781552454015

Product Form:

Paperback

Form detail:

Trade
Paperback , Trade
English

Audience:

General Trade
Apr 14, 2020
$22.95 CAD
Active

Dimensions:

8in x 5 x 0.55 in | 0.5 lb

Page Count:

160 pages
Coach House Books
FICTION / Literary

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2019

AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Readers who like quiet, meditative works will enjoy this strangely affecting buddy story." —Publishers Weekly

"Rather than tying up the loose ends, she leaves them beautifully fluttering in the wind, and you do not feel lost in that experience. The writing is poetic and it’s worth savouring." —Angela Caravan, Shrapnel

A bad dream leads to a strange poetic pilgrimage through Japan in this playful and profound Booker International-shortlisted novel.

Gilbert Silvester, eminent scholar of beard fashions in film, wakes up one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him. Certain the dream is a message, and unable to even look at her, he flees - immediately, irrationally, inexplicably - for Japan. In Tokyo he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho. Keen to cure his malaise, he decides to find solace in nature the way Basho did. Suddenly, from Gilbert's directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima. Although, of course, unlike the great poet, he will take a train. Along the way he falls into step with another pilgrim: Yosa, a young Japanese student clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide . Together, Gilbert and Yosa travel across Basho's disappearing Japan, one in search of his perfect ending and the other a new beginning. Serene, playful, and profound, The Pine Islands is a story of the transformations we seek and the ones we find along the way.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2019

AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

  • The first translation into English of one of Germany’s most important writers.
  • Published by Profile/Serpent’s Tail in the U.K.
  • Books about transformation through walking are popular (Wild, The Salt Path); this is a slightly ironic take on this trope.

Marion Poschmann was born in Essen in 1969. Recognized as one of Germany's foremost poets and novelists, she has won both of Germany's premier poetry prizes. She is the author of four novels, the last three of which have been nominated for the German Book Prize, and she won the prestigious Wilhelm Raabe Literature Prize in 2013. The Pine Islands is her first novel to be translated into English. She currently lives in Berlin. Jen Calleja is a writer, musician, and literary translator. She has translated works by Wim Wenders, Gregor Hens, Kerstin Hensel, and Michelle Steinbeck, and her translations have been featured in The New Yorker and The White Review, among others. She was the inaugural Translator in Residence at the British Library, and her reviews, articles, interviews, and essays have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Modern Poetry in Translation, Brixton Review of Books, New Books in German, and elsewhere. Her first poetry collection, Serious Justice, was published by Test Centre in 2016. She currently lives in London.

"A quirky, unpredictable and darkly comic confrontation with mortality." –Man Booker Prize Jury

"... Marion Poschmann, a multi-award-winning poet and novelist in her native Germany, now appears in English fully formed, translated by Jen Calleja, and has all the air of uncovered greatness. The Pine Islands is a story that doesn't tie up loose ends but leaves themes scattered as needles on the forest floor, allowing the reader to spot their patterns. The best approach to this beguiling, unpredictable book is to follow Gilbert's advice on reciting poetry: 'to let it affect you, and simply accept it in all its striking, irrational beauty.'" –John Self, The Guardian

"A masterpiece." –Die Zeit

"Clever, poetic, funny." –Tagesspiegel

"Ravishingly funny." –Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Readers who like quiet, meditative works will enjoy this strangely affecting buddy story." –Publishers Weekly

"Rather than tying up the loose ends, she leaves them beautifully fluttering in the wind, and you do not feel lost in that experience. The writing is poetic and it’s worth savouring." –Angela Caravan, Shrapnel

". . . Marion Poschmann’s The Pine Islands offers an encounter between Eastern and Western literary traditions that makes for a ghostly, unsettling trip." –Max Radwin, Words without Borders

"There’s something queasily hilarious about this self-centered pedant, who wouldn’t be out of place in the brainy comic novels of Don DeLillo or Nell Zink." –The Wall Street Journal

"The Pine Islands is a contemplative story that questions the possibility of scheduled contemplation or a pre-determined epiphany. " –Winnipeg Free Press

"The book suggests that when you’re searching for something in particular you will probably not find it, but that the journey will never be in vain. This eternal theme is handled with grace and humour, in a most unusual way. The Pine Islands is bursting with substance, possibility and delight." –Prism International

"The Pine Islands is a story that doesn’t tie up loose ends but leaves themes scattered as needles on the forest floor, allowing the reader to spot their patterns." —John Self, The Guardian

"A remarkably tender exploration of modern life ... Poschmann reveals the still beauty to be found in life beneath a mask of black humour." —Mia Colleran, Irish Times

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