New Europe Books mines literary gems from the other half of the Old World. Read on to discover an informative, intelligent, surprising, and entertaining potpourri of nonfiction and fiction.
Petra K and the Blackhearts
Just released (February 2014)
"A breathless . . . adventure pits a poor, fatherless girl against all sides in a battle for a dragon's heart and a city's freedom. . . . Meticulously imagined, Petra's city is built on ancient layers of cultures and traditions, with magic woven into its fabric. . . . [A] remarkable and distinctive offering for devoted fantasy fans."
"Ellis's . . . years living in Eastern Europe give this steampunk fantasy . . . a strong sense of place and an unerring ear for the newspeak of totalitarianism. Archibald the Precious, a child dictator . . . takes the reins in Pava, the crumbling city-state in which Petra K lives. . . . Ellis's pacing and plotting show considerable gifts as Petra draws closer to the secret of Archibald's power."
"Mocked at school and neglected at home, young Petra K finds sanctuary in the streets of Pava, where forbidden magic is still practiced, mechanized automatons hawk their wares, and miniature dragons run wild. . . . The blend of magic and machinery is eerily intriguing. . . . Petra K is a stalwart but accessible heroine." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Café
"[G]enuine imagination and an energetic wit. Ellis vividly re-creates the atmosphere of a city in the throes of transformation as well as the American Quixotes who populate this new frontier." —Publishers Weekly
"An ode to expatriate living, culture clashes, and the heady days of early 1990s Europe, this novel is a manic, wild ride. . . . [D]arkly comic . . . immersive, nostalgic, and thoroughly enjoyable." —Booklist
"Former barista John Shirting from Chicago, an expat in the hallucinatory Prague of the Nineties, stands in the good company of Ignatius J. Reilly, Chauncey Gardener, and Forest Gump." —Andrei Codrescu
The Essential Guide to Being Polish
"I invite you on this journey into the depths of the Polish soul." —from the Foreword by Lech Walesa
"The Essential Guide to Being Polish recounts the political and cultural history of Poland—and, if you will, of Polishness—with a reader-friendly, streamlined clarity that . . . never loses sight of the essential complexity of its subject." —Stuart Dybek, award-winning author of The Coast of Chicago and I Sailed with Magellan
"Plebanek's crisp and intelligent new novel is full of pitch-perfect descriptions, mostly but not exclusively about sex and its contemplation. . . . A merciless comedy of modern manners, and the politics of desire."
"A remarkable achievement. . . . A must for anyone with a mind for the erotic who also values their mind." —Catherine Millet, author of The Sexual Life of Catherine M.
"A veritable intellectual feat. . . . A must-read for all who want to learn about and understand this forgotten part of Europe." —from the Foreword by Laszlo Borhi, Indiana University, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
"An entertaining and fact-fileld historical survey of a fascinating and important part of the world all too infrequently covered . . . leading the reader on an approximately 2,000-year odyssey." —Jeff Pennington, Executive Director, Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
"A valuable contribution to a field that needs a well researched and engaging introduction to Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans." —John Ashbrook, Sweet Briar College
“Most certainly a literary masterpiece."—William Auld, Nobel Prize nominated poet, Esperanto translator of The Lord of the Rings