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The Wild Cats of Piran


Scott Alexander Young

Illustrations by Moreno Chis

"Action aplenty . . . The avuncular narrator can be quite funny. . . . Chistè's full-color illustrations add grace notes, recalling animated films in their line and composition." --Kirkus Reviews

In The Wild Cats of Piran, Scott Alexander Young fashions a thoroughly absorbing cosmos of cats--tracing the (nine) lives of the feral felines that inhabit a charming town on Slovenia's Adriatic coast. He takes us through centuries in the life of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, from Naples to Piran (present-day Slovenia). 
From a pirate of centuries past named Edward England (and his parrot, Desmond) to the ghost of a violinist named Giuseppe Tartini, from memories of one cat's former life on the Hungarian plains to witty observations about the technology-driven lives of weird twenty-first century teenagers and about human beings' complex relationships with their furry little friends, this fascinating tale comes together in page after page of evocative prose.
  • Will the beautiful Queen Felicia (an Oriental Shorthair from Naples)--the leader of the wild cats of Piran--reunite with her onetime love, Leopold (a Japanese Bobtail from Vienna)? 
  • Will the Hungarian tabby cat Magyar manage to rescue his ladylove (Beyza the Angora cat) from the “captivity” in a villa considerably more luxurious than the cemetery crypt in which the wild cats of Piran make their home? 
  • Last but not least, is the German shepherd Thor really the cats' fiercest enemy, as he seems--or, once the cats have faced off with their other foes, the rats of Piran, might he reveal another side of his personality?
Age-appropriate for just about anyone from nine to ninety-nine who is apt to bewitched by charming Old World settings and who, yes, doesn't hate cats, The Wild Cats of Piran is a magical, unforgettable read.

 

FICTION • 978-0-99000-43-01 • 14 October 2014
144 pages • Trade Paperback Original • $10.99 US/$10.99 CAN • 4.75 x 7 
North America & Open Market

Cover Illustration: Moreno Chistè


About the Author 
 
Scott Alexander Young
 can’t quite decide if he’s a dilettante or a Renaissance man. A TV scriptwriter, writer, and actor from New Zealand who lives in Budapest, Hungary, he is the creator and writer of Max’s Midnight Movies, an AXN Original Production of a twenty-six-part TV series about cult cinema classics. Meanwhile, in the guise of character actor, Young has shown up in movies and TV series such as Dracula, Fleming, and Houdini. As reflected in Chronicle One of his Wild Cats trilogy, his written work is often inspired by Eastern and Central Europe as a wellspring of myth and legend, fairy tales, and horror stories. In his side career as a travel writer, Young has been everywhere from Alaska to Buenos Aires, Hawaii to Florence. And, of course, Piran.


 
About the Illustrator
 
From his studio in Trento, northern Italy, the abundantly talented Swiss/Italian artist Moreno Chistè has produced thousands of lively and colorful illustrations for companies such as Disney, Warner Bros, and Mattel. His work ranges from comics to advertising artwork, storyboards, merchandising, and entire collections of greeting cards for the major European card companies.





 

The Devil Is
a Black Dog

 

Stories from the
Middle East and Beyond

"A master class in how to tell a war story."

--Kirkus Reviews 
(starred review)


Sándor Jászberényi

 


"Heady, dizzying writing, rapt with cleareyed descriptions of armed children, brutal executions, sniper fire and sandstorms. . . . A master class in how to tell a war story."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"One of the most honest books I have ever read. . . . A truly authentic dive into the psyche, spirituality, and frailty of mankind."
--Brian Dabbs, former contributor to the New York Times and Al-Jazeera 
 
"[An] impressive debut collection . . . [by] a Hungarian news correspondent who has covered the conflicts in Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East."
--Publishers Weekly



"Brutally frank in showing how the civil strife-wracked 
Africa and Middle East have not only demeaned the value of 
life and death but also killed the sensitivity of reporters . . . 
even while they seek to provoke the moral outrage of the outside world." 
--David Ottaway, former Washington Post correspondent


"With this book Sándor Jászberényi joins the top ranks 
of short story writers today." 
--Élet és Irodalom, Hungary's leading cultural weekly


See the book trailer here.


In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Devil Is a Black Dog 
is unsentimentally moving and entertainingly informative. 
The hard-boiled perspective of a writer-correspondent 
from the "other" half of Europe is brought to bear on 
exploring troubled regions--but now, illuminating truths 
as only well-crafted fiction can.

***

FICTION • 978-0-9900043-2-5 • E-book: 978-0-9900043-3-2
9 December 2014 • 208 pages • Trade Paperback Original 
$14.95 • US & Open Market (no Canada) • 5.5 x 8.25 

Cover photo by the author
Cover design by Hadley Kincade

***

From Cairo and Benghazi to the Gaza Strip and the Darfur refugee camps of Chad, from Budapest to Hungary's provinces, 
these nineteen short stories are a compelling testament to how human beings are affected not only by the violent undercurrents of everyday life but also by extraordinary circumstances by war, poverty, extremist religion, revolution, and murder. 

Told mostly from the perspective of war correspondent Daniel Marosh, it addresses urgent global issues, but always with the individual at the center: the mother, the father, the soldier, the martyr, the religious man--and the reporter examining the lives of others while haunted by his own demons.

* An Egyptian surgeon gives up God and takes up drinking after meeting with a terrible surprise on his operating table.

* An international aid worker must decide between helping one girl who faces genital mutilation or saving the lives of many others.

* A love affair unfolds between two foreign correspondents as revolution takes hold of Cairo


About the Author 
 
Sándor Jászberényi (Shahn-dor Yahs-ber-ay-ñee) is a writer and a correspondent for Hungarian newspapers who has covered the conflict with ISIS, unrest in Ukraine, the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, the Gaza War, and the Darfur crisis. His story collection,
 Az ördög egy fekete kutya (The Devil Is a Black Dog), was published in 2013 in Hungary and is forthcoming in Italy. His stories and poems have been published in English in AGNI, the Brooklyn Rail, BODY, and Pilvax. Jászberényi divides his time between Cairo and Budapest. 



  
About the Translator
 
M. Henderson Ellis
 is the author of Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Café and Petra K and the Blackhearts (both New Europe Books). A Chicago native and graduate of Bennington College, he lives in Budapest, Hungary.







 

Eastern Europe!
Everything You Need to Know About the History (and More) of a Region 
that Shaped Our World 
and Still Does


Tomek Jankowski


"This broad overview describes the nearly indefinable region that, until the Berlin Wall's sudden fall, was shrouded behind the iron Curtain. . . . [Jankowski] displays an ease and familiarity with cultural minutiae while briskly covering intense topics of genocide, religion, and Communist implosion." 
Publishers Weekly

"Jankowski . . . offers a sweeping history of Eastern Europe and does an admirable job of getting information in on nearly every language and religious and cultural group that has existed in the area, a commendable feat. . . . [He] writes in an intelligent, accessible style, and it is easy to read the book from start to finish, or just to pick out sections on certain countries or events." 
Library Journal

"The colloquial style succeeds in making this an accessible, if thorough, history of pretty much everywhere from East Berlin to the Black Sea back to 500CE. . . . Recommended reading for anyone heading to the former Eastern Bloc." —Traveller

"A veritable intellectual feat. . . . a guide through [a] millennium-long maze of wars, strange customs and habits, and seemingly impenetrable languages. . . . 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 ."  
—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. . . . A joy to read, while providing enough material for the average to excellent student to get a working grasp on the history of the region." 
—John Ashbrook, 
Sweet Briar College

"Compact, inclusive, and accessible, this book is an enjoyable and thorough account of the Eastern European past. In contrast with historical narratives that insist on gravely recounting the past as a succession of sorrows, where audiences are bid to suffer alongside the victims of history, Tomek Jankowski's Eastern Europe! gives a refreshing view of the region's history using a more fully human embrace of the comedic, serving to personalize these histories." 
—Nate Weston, 
Seattle Central Community College


***

Cover design © Oscar Boskovitz


History / Europe • 978-0-9850623-2-3 • 1 November 2013 • Paper • $24.95 US / $28.95 CAN / £17.99 UK • 
6 x 9  •
640 pages with index • 100 b&w images & maps throughout

ABOUT THE BOOK


When the legendary Romulus killed his brother Remus and founded the city of Rome in 753 BCE, Plovdiv—today the second-largest city in Bulgaria—was already thousands of years old. Indeed, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam are all are mere infants compared to Plovdiv. This is just one of the paradoxes that haunts and defines the New Europe, that part of Europe that was freed from Soviet bondage in 1989, and which is at once both much older than the modern Atlantic-facing power centers of Western Europe while also being in some ways much younger than them. Eastern Europe!: Everything You Need to Know About the History (and More) of a Region that Shaped Our World and Still Does is a concise (but informative) introduction to Eastern Europe and its myriad customs and history.

Even those knowledgeable about Western Europe often see Eastern Europe as terra incognito, with a sign on the border declaring "Here be monsters." Tomek Jankowski's book is a gateway to understanding both what unites and separates Eastern Europeans from their Western brethren, and how this vital region has been shaped by but has also left its mark on Western Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. It is a reader-friendly guide to a region that is all too often mischaracterized as remote, insular, and superstitious.

The book comprises three parts, the first of which describes the modern linguistic, geographical and religious contours of Eastern Europe. The second delves into the region's history, from the earliest origins of Europe up to the collapse of the Soviet realm in Eastern Europe. The historical chapters are interpolated by special inserts, usually a page or two long each, on special topics of interest. The third part presents geographical name references—many of Eastern Europe's cities, rivers, or regions have different names—along with an "Eastern Europe by Numbers" section that provides a series of charts describing the populations, politics, and economies of the region today. Throughout the book are boxed-off anecdotes describing compelling aspects of Eastern European history or culture.

About the Author


Tomek Jankowski—who grew up in a Polish family in Buffalo, New York—worked, studied, and traveled in Poland, Hungary, and other regions of Eastern Europe from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. He gained a functional literacy in Polish, Hungarian, Russian, and German, while also studying other Slavic languages. Jankowski holds a degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since the late 1990s he has held positions in the business sector ranging from bond analysis to data research. Currently he is a senior analyst at a research firm that specializes in producing market analysis for the management consulting world--a capacity that has seen him author numerous reports focusing on Eastern Europe--as well as the financial services industry. He lives in Londonderry, New Hampshire.


Keeping Bedlam
at Bay in the
Prague Cafe


M. Henderson Ellis

A brilliant and darkly comic novel about globalism, coffee, and pills


"[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

"Difficult to put down, unsettling yet addictive. . . . A must read for anyone who dares to peek behind the postcard image of a famously beautiful centre of European civilization."
—Winnipeg Free Press

Cover design © Andras Baranyai

Fiction • 978-0-9825781-8-6
Paper • February 2013 • $14.95 US / $17.95 CAN
5.5 x 8.5 • 256 pages • World Rights
 

"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 Forrest Gump. Ellis has enriched the literature of estrangement and given us a marvelous portrait of postcommunist Prague in its heady and wild rush into capitalism. This novel . . . reflect(s) in its rollicking drive profound insights into the ideologies of the last century."
Andrei Codrescu, author of So Recently Rent a World and New Orleans, Mon Amour 

"
A hilarious hallucinatory satire, built on shots of caffeine."
Amanda Stern, author of The Long Haul


"Mr. Ellis has fashioned a delightful, and ultimately moving, traipse through Middle Europe in bitingly satiric prose reminiscent of Joseph Heller, David Markson, and Alexander Theroux at their most playful. A pleasure." —Joshua Cody, author of [sic]: A Memoir

"With fresh and evocative language, Ellis delivers us into a frenetic and history-haunted world. By turns strange and subtle, imaginative and knowingand also often very funny." 
Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking With Men, Drink columnist, New York Times Magazine

"Thanks to Ellis's wickedly good writing and laserlike focus on the absurdities of expat life, Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Cafe is an arresting, hilarious, andthoroughly enjoyable novel?both avivid portrait of an already bygone era and anÿup-to-the-minute snapshot of civilization in decline." 
—Katherine Shonk, author of Happy Now? and The Red Passport

"Don't let the title fool you. The bedlam here is never kept at bay for very long. Ellis writes with manic, overcaffeinated energy about the wild westernization of Prague after the fall of the Iron Curtain and he captures that era perfectly." 
Andrew Ervin, author ofExtraordinary Renditions

ABOUT THE BOOK

A dazzling combination of Everything is Illuminated and Don Quixote, with a jigger  of Confederacy of the Dunces and Lord of the BarnyardKeeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Cafe tells the story of John Shirtingquiet young Chicagoan, wizard of self-medicationwho is in early 1990s Prague on a mission: to spread the word of capitalism by planting the seeds of American coffee culture. But can he cast aside his own demons before the seamier side of the city sidetracks him from his quest?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR




M. Henderson Ellis
 lived in Prague for two years in the first half of the 1990s and there taught English and tended bar. A Chicago-area native and a graduate of Bennington College, he has lived in Budapest, Hungary, since 2001, where in 2004 he cofounded the English-language literary review Pilvax, which he edits to this day. He makes his living as a writer and freelance editor at Wordpillediting.com.



READING GROUP GUIDE 

1. There is a long history of American expatriate novels, from The Sun Also Rises to The Talented Mr. Ripley. How does Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Café continue or diverge from this tradition? How is the experience of John Shirting in postcommunist Prague both similar to and different than that of Hemingway’s Jake Barnes in post–World War I Paris and Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley in Italy? As regards mind-altering substances consumed—in the case of John Shirting: pills, cappuccino, and beer—as well as protagonists’ past traumas, repressed sexuality, and consequent interaction with (and isolation from) others?

2. At the time the novel takes place, in the early 1990s, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) was adopting many aspects of American consumer culture. Does John Shirting represent the best and worst of globalism, and how so?

3. Shirting comes up against Magda, a young Czech swindler. How is his ideology of customer service and capitalism different from her apartment turning scam? How is it different from that of Mizen, who is also American?

4. Shirting is constantly reaching in his pocket for his pills. The author never states exactly what these pills are. What are they and why do they remain nameless?

5. Chicagoland, where Shirting is from, represents not only the Capo Coffee chain and Shirting’s almost mythical grandfather but also Jerry Kodadek, mentor to Shirting and other “Frogger boys,” and convicted pedophile—whose ghost in fact once appears to Shirting on a tram in Prague. Is Shirting’s memory of this strange, sinister figure repressed in some measure? To what extent might it help explain his experiences in Prague—including his first, weird and comical visit to Monika, the prostitute?

6. There is a theme of nostalgia that runs through the novel, yet the setting is in a society in quick transition. The old and the new are often set side by side in the book. Why is this so prominent a motif throughout?

7. There are many hallucinatory aspects to the novel. Are these all in John Shirting’s mind? How much of the novel is just a projection of the protagonist’s delicate psychology?

8. The narrative, and much of John Shirting’s dialogue, is characterized by often meticulously crafted language that suggests (with no little humor) that all is not well in the protagonist’s mind. Does this serve to satirize self-consciously sophisticated young American expats who use the English language with panache but who in some cases (e.g., Shirting) can't be bothered to learn the local language? What might it suggest about Shirting’s social isolation, his difficulty in communicating with his fellow human beings? Is he hiding behind his words?

9. From Kafka to Kundera, Prague has long been one of Europe’s most iconic literary settings. Discuss the relationship between the physical Prague—its buildings, bridges, and squares—and the “Prague of the mind, a pure Prague” as put by Shirting and as experienced by him and others in this novel. Which Prague do you imagine in reading Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Café? Both? Did your own travels in Prague or prior reading about the city enrich your experience of Prague in Ellis’s novel?

10. Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Café can fairly be termed a dark comedy. Comment on why this is so—on way in which the novel is on the one hand comic (who or what is the target of the humor?), and on the unsettling forces at work that serve as an ever-present reminder that something quite serious is at stake.

11. The novel ends on a positive note. Is Shirting over his particular set of problems?



 




    Voyage to           Kazohinia
a novel by 
Sándor Szathmári


Translated from the Hungarian by Inez Kemenes












“Massively entertaining. 'Tell all
the Truth,' said Emily Dickinson, 'but tell it Slant.' On such good advice do satirists and speculative sorts venture forward into worlds as varied as Oz, Lilliput, 1984's Oceania, and—now—Kazohinia. In an old world voice with postmodern tones, Sandor Szathmari's Voyage to Kazohinia takes a comic knife to our various conceptions of government. . . . Gulliver, the belittled individual with an oversize sense of capacity, earns our fulsome affection. . . . Crusoe encountering Friday, Alice at a loss at the Mad Tea Party: Make room for the new Gulliver! He has brought home news out of Kazohinia.”
—Gregory Maguire, author of
Wicked and Out of Oz


Cover design © Andras  Baranyai

Fiction / Classics • 978-0-9825781-2-4
Paper • July 3, 2012 • $16.95 US
5.5 x 8.5 • 368 pages • World Rights  

“However you interpret it, most certainly a literary masterpiece.”
    

—William Auld, Scottish Esperanto poet, author, and translator of The Lord of the Rings

“As if Bradbury and Orwell had been mixed with fresh wild berries, it was so ahead of its time that its time still hasn't caught up. Perhaps now it will.”
—Miklos Vámos, author of The Book of Fathers

"Highly entertaining. . . . Readers familiar with the classic Swift satire will
find much to admire here, but those unfamiliar with Gulliver’s Travels
should still have a good time.”
—Booklist

"[A] dystopian cult classic.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A powerful stimulus to thought. What distinguishes Voyage to Kazohinia from similar ventures and yet links it to Brave New World is its description of utopia and dystopia.”
—Michel Duc Goninaz, author of La Plena Ilustrita Vortaro de Esperanto (Complete Illustrated Esperanto Dictionary)

“Written in 1935, Voyage to Kazohinia is a strikingly postmodern and open-ended dystopia that rightfully belongs among the twentieth-century classics of the genre. And it is unique in being less a strident political cautionary tale than it is a brilliantly mordant reflection on government, reason, and language.”
—Carter Hanson, Associate Professor of English, Valparaiso University

"Sándor Szathmári writes in the best tradition of Jonathan Swift in using the framework of an adventure story for a fascinating in-depth exploration of interhuman relationships. . . . [He] remarkably brings off a crystal-clear style that never gets boring in the least.”
—Reinhard Fössmeier, International Academy of the Sciences San Marino

“This classic utopian and dystopian novel can now garner its rightful, essential place in its genre for readers in the wider world. A modern-day Gulliver is caught between the equally unacceptable hyperrationalism of the Hins and the insane irrationalism of the Behins. In both encounters, Gulliver proves incapable of perceiving the irrationality of his own society. Confronting the prospect of unlimited technological capability and our consequent alienation from natural life, Szathmari takes us on a voyage to a futuristic, transhumanist society. In so doing he suggests that we face two alternatives: to drown in our contradictions or eliminate them by eliminating ourselves. Whether or not we agree, this must-read novel challenges us at the most fundamental philosophical level."
—Ralph Dumain, librarian & independent scholar, autodidactproject.org

Sándor Szathmári (1897 1974) 
was among the most extraordinary and elusive figures in 20th-century Hungarian literature. The author of two published novels and several story collections in his native land, he was best known for Voyage to Kazohinia—which, titled Kazohinia on most editions in Hungary, has been treasured by generations of readers. Completed in 1935, it was first published in 1941. Although he spent much of his career as a mechanical engineer, Szathmári was a leading figure in Hungary's Esperanto movement, and published several of his works, including Voyage to Kazohinia, in his own Esperanto editions published outside of Hungary, thus achieving recognition as one of the greatest writers of that language as well. 

(Author photo © Janos Eifert)