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Reading List

Verso Fiction reading list

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In 2019 we launched Verso Fiction to publish international voices and revolutionary stories. Many of these novels and short stories are translated into English for the first time and tell stories that are not often heard, that experiment with style and form, and that introduce readers to new perspectives and memorable characters.

Browse the best of our fiction – perfect for winter reading and holiday gifting.
 

A cat and mouse game of surveillance and psychological torment develops between a middle aged artist and her aging mother, as Vigdis Hjorth returns to the themes of her controversial modern classic, Will and Testament.

A jarringly sensual book about the peculiarities of our bodies and the impossibilities of our families, and a young woman trying to find a way forward with both.

For three decades, until the day he collapsed in the Brazilian surf in 1979, Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death who performed horrific experiments on the prisoners of Auschwitz, floated through South America in linen suits, keeping two steps ahead of Mossad agents, international police and the world’s journalists. In this rigorously researched factual novel—drawn almost entirely from historical documents—Olivier Guez traces Mengele’s footsteps through these years of flight. 

With the verve and bite of Ottessa Moshfegh and the barbed charm of Nancy Mitford, Marlowe Granados’s stunning debut brilliantly captures a summer of striving in New York City.

Connecting contemporary Shanghai, late Apartheid era South Africa, and China during the Great Leap Forward and the Tiananmen uprising—and refracting this globe-trotting and time-traveling through Hughes’ confessional letters to a South African protege about the poet’s time in Shanghai—How to Be a Revolutionary is an amazingly ambitious novel. It’s also a heartbreaking exploration of what we owe our countries, our consciences, and ourselves.

The explosive novel of Italy’s revolutionary 1969. Wrought in spare and measured prose, Balestrini’s novel depicts an explosive uprising. Introduced by Rachel Kushner, the author of the best-selling The Flamethrowers, We Want Everything is the incendiary fictional account of events that led to a decade of revolt.

The first English-language publication of the work of Izumi Suzuki, a legend of Japanese science fiction and a countercultural icon. In these darkly playful and punky stories, the fantastical elements are always grounded in the universal pettiness of strife between the sexes, and the gritty reality of life on the lower rungs, whatever planet that ladder might be on.

A young revolutionary plants a bomb in a factory on the outskirts of Algiers during the Algerian War. The bomb is timed to explode after work hours, so no one will be hurt. But the authorities have been watching. He is caught, the bomb is defused, and he is tortured, tried in a day and sentenced to death by guillotine. A routine event, perhaps, in a brutal conflict that ended the lives of more than a million Muslim Algerians.

This is an existential scream of a novel about loneliness (and the postal service!), written in Hjorth’s trademark spare, rhythmic and cutting style.

At once a time-travelling horror story and a fugue-like feminist manifesto, this is a singular, genre-warping new novel from the author of the acclaimed Paradise Rot.

ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES

Anita lives in Karachi’s biggest slum. Her mother is a maalish wali, paid to massage the tired bones of rich women. But Anita's life will change forever when she meets her elderly neighbour, a man whose shelves of books promise an escape to a different world. 

“A meticulous psychological study of who turns to radicalism and why … A provocative investigation of courage, and how it can foment either salvation or damnation.” – Anjali Enjeti, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Will and Testament is a lyrical meditation on trauma and memory, as well as a furious account of a woman’s struggle to survive and be believed. Vigdis Hjorth’s novel became a controversial literary sensation in Norway and has been translated into twenty languages.

Eka Kurniawan’s freewheeling imagination explores the turbulent dreams of an ex-prostitute, the hapless life of a perpetual student, victims of an anticommunist genocide, the travails of an elephant, even the vengeful fantasies of a stone. Dark, sexual, scatological, violent, and mordantly funny, these fractured fables span city and country, animal and human, myth and politics.

This debut novel from critically acclaimed artist and musician Jenny Hval presents a heady and hyper-sensual portrayal of sexual awakening and queer desire.

A wry, affecting tale set in a small town on the Indonesian coast, Man Tiger tells the story of two interlinked and tormented families and of Margio, a young man ordinary in all particulars except that he conceals within himself a supernatural female white tiger.