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New Acquisition Buzz

Several recent acquisitions have been causing quite a bit of excitement not only within the confines of our editorial offices but also among critics, reviewers, translators and booksellers in the US who appear to be awaiting their release in English with baited breath.

Muriel Barbery's L'élégance du herisson (The Elegance of the Hedgehog) has been a major cause célèbres in France since its first publication by Gallimard in 2006. With very little initial advertising on the part of the publisher it became a nationwide word-of-mouth hit, jettisoning Barbery to the top spot on the nation's bestseller list. More than a year after its publication, Publishers Weekly still had it listed at the number three spot among French bestsellers this past week. The novel is written in two voices and takes place entirely inside an apartment building in a middle-class neighborhood in Paris. The two voices belong to Renée, a fifty-four-year-old caretaker who secretly reads the most obscure works by the world’s great philosophers and authors, and Paloma, a gifted but unloved twelve-year-old girl who lives on the fifth floor.  From the reaction that the book has had in France, we can assume that what they say about Muriel Barbery is true: she has an uncommon ability to write about the gravest and most profound things with an engaging lightness. Release date is fall 2008.
(photo credit: Catherine Hélie © Editions Gallimard)

Helmut Krausser is a novelist, dramaturge, screenwriter, composer, diarist, and poet. Among other things! At various times he has worked as a night watchman, newspaper canvasser, opera extra, vocalist in a rock ‘n‘ roll band, and journalist. He is somewhat of a cult figure in his native Germany. Those who know him personally speak of a charismatic, slightly reclusive artist who must not, for any reason whatsoever, be disturbed before noon. His novel The Great Bagarozy was published in the US in 1999.  Now, Europa Editions has acquired the rights to his most recent, dazzling novel, Eros, the story of Alexander von Brücken, a seventy-year-old reclusive millionaire with an enigmatic past who invites an unnamed writer to stay in his mansion and ghostwrite his autobiography. Release date is Spring 2008.

Roma Tearne donates a percentage of the proceeds from the sales of her books to Gino Strada's Emergency, because they are the only ones who have the courage and the tenacity to enter where no other humanitarian organization successfully enters: into a country torn apart by a seemingly endless civil war that is being kept from the press and thus denied the effects of outraged international public opinion it warrants, her native Sri Lanka. In 2008 Europa Editions and edizioni e/o will release, simultaneously in Italy and the US, Tearne's novel Mosquito, the story of a tenuous love affair threatened by escalating Sri Lankan civil unrest. Release date, spring 2008.

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