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The Pine Islands

The Pine Islands

Paperback

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on April 14, 2020

Overview

“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

‘Profoundly serene’ – Tageszeitung

‘Ravishingly funny’ – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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 Bashō. Keen to cure his malaise, he decides to find solace in nature the way Bashō 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 Bashō’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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781552454015
Publisher: Coach House Books
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

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.

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 T imes 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.