Peirene Press week – Looking forward, 2016 releases

This week the blog has been dedicated to all thing Peirene Press. Having concentrated on the here and now and the history behind the publishing house I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see what treats Peirene have in store for us next year.

New for 2016 is Peirene Now! This new project sees Peirene specially commission stories in response to political topics of the day. The first Peirene Now! title is breach by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes and will be published in August 2016.


“A Peirene Commission

Displacement is as old as our need for home.

In the port of Calais, an illusion is being disrupted: that of a neatly ordered world, with those deserving safety and comfort separated from those who need to be kept out.

breach tells the story of the refugee crisis through six voices based on interviews with refugees in Calais. These stories uncover realities of fleeing one’s country by any means necessary. They demand to be seen, to be heard, to be let in. But can we ignore the fears of the ones who want to close their borders?”

Here’s what Meike Ziervogel has to say on the Peirene site as to why she commissioned the piece.

‘I have commissioned Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes to go to the Calais refugee camps to distil stories into a work of fiction about escape, hope and aspiration. On another level, however, this work will also take seriously the fears of people in this country who want to close their borders. It’s that dialogue that isn’t happening in real life. A work of art can help to bridge the gap.’ Meike Ziervogel

(Peirene Now! titles are not part of the subscription service and can be bought directly from their site.)

Out in February 2016 the first in the Fairy Tale series is title number 19 The Man I Became by Peter Verhelst, translated by David Colmer. This is followed in June 2016 by title number 20, Her Father’s Daughter by Marie Sizun, translated by Adriana Hunter. The final title in the Fairy Tale series, title number 21, The Empress and the Cake by Linda Stift, translated by Jamie Bulloch which is published in September 2016.


“Huxley’s Brave New World meets Orwell’s Animal Farm.

The impressively entertaining tale about the frailty of human civilisation by the leading Flemish writer Peter Verhelst, now for the first time in English.

Warning: This story is narrated by a gorilla. He is plucked from the jungle. He learns to chat and passes the ultimate test: a cocktail party. Eventually he is moved to an amusement park, where he acts in a play about the history of civilisation. But as the gorilla becomes increasingly aware of human frailties, he must choose between his instincts and his training, between principles and self-preservation.”


“A taut and subtle family drama from France.

A little girl lives happily with her mother in war-torn Paris. She has never met her father, a prisoner of war in Germany. But then he returns and her mother switches her devotion to her husband. The girl realizes that she must win over her father to recover her position in the family. She confides a secret that will change their lives. “


“Madness lurks behind the pretty façade of everyday life.

An elderly lady offers a young woman a piece of cake. She accepts. The lady resembles the Austrian Empress Elisabeth and lives with her servant in an apartment full of bizarre souvenirs. More invitations follow. A seemingly harmless visit to the museum turns into a meticulously planned raid to steal a royal cocaine syringe. Without realizing, the young woman has become the lady’s accomplice. Does she realize she is losing control?”

I have to say all of these sound intriguing to me, and though I’m not sure which appeals the most, I’m looking forward to publication. Which ones appeal to you?

If you like the sound of these you can always take up a subscription with Peirene. Find out more here.

Also Poppy Peacock happens to have a fantastic competition running at the moment, the prize being a year’s subscription to Peirene. Find out more here.


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