Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages. Our library reflects our aims to promote literary ambition and innovative writers, and to challenge readers.
I Loved a German
by A.H. Tammsaare (trans. Chris Moseley)
Pages: 260 (approx)
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm
Publication: 5 July 2018
From the Estonian Literature Centre:
“What happens when you think you have fallen in love with a woman, but it turns out that you love her grandfather instead?
“A. H. Tammsaare’s I Loved a German is a gripping love story, in which the classic love triangle takes a very untraditional form. The plot is centered around a young Estonian university student who falls in love with a young Baltic German woman. The Baltic Germans have lost their former aristocratic position in society since Estonia declared its independence. The young German earns her keep as a tutor for an Estonian family, and is not economically well-off. The young man, Oskar, starts courting the girl frivolously, but then falls head-over-heels in love with her.
“Before long, the prejudice that an Estonian and a Baltic German are of socially unequal standings starts to stalk the couple. When Oskar goes to ask Erika’s grandfather — a former manor lord — for the girl’s hand, the meeting leaves a deep impression on his soul. All of a sudden, Oskar finds himself wondering if perhaps he doesn’t love the woman in Erika, but rather her grandfather; meaning, her noble descent. Perhaps the 'slave’s blood' of farmhands who had been in the service of Baltic Germans for centuries is manifested in his love, instead?
“Does love depend solely upon the emotions of two young individuals, or are their origins, their social and cultural background actually the deciding factor?”
by Kathrine Sowerby
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 6.5 mm
Publication: 25 June 2018
As if through a prism, this sequence of sixty-two poems examines and questions the elusive from all angles and, by trying to make sense of chaos, they discover patches of light that guide both poet and reader towards a resolution: that we must live any way we can.
House However has been reworked and reduced entirely to the suggestive. Suggestive of what? Of human solitude, of alienation, of wonderment, of what each individual reader can make of it – the defamiliarisation of our most intimate personal and domestic items and surroundings. It acts as a reminder that, while looking after others, we must tend to our own body and spirit in order to survive.
“In these poems – portraits of objects and emotions – Kathrine Sowerby animates a world we ignore, she reinvents a world with a compelling internal logic. With her repetitions, revisitings, recurrences and restatings of that logic, her unique, fresh and dislocating world is made solid. With her astonishingly beautiful rhythms, of each individual poem and of the book as a symphony, Sowerby demonstrates that not only is she inheritor of Gertrude Stein’s musicality, but she moves deep into the twenty-first century: speculative, precise, intelligent and utterly attentive.” – Gerry Loose
by Gerry Loose
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 8 mm
Publication: 2 July 2018
Combining pressing geopolitical urgency with a subtle and gentle lyricism, as we have come to expect from Gerry Loose, his new book ranges wide, broad and deep, to settle back at home in the Scotland reinhabited by Sweeney the king, deranged and fleeing humanity, and a lilting nine-day walk from coast to coast across Scotland’s heartland.
With narratives from Nuremberg, setting city and individual citizens against a long and terrible past, and with stories of an island life – not as insular as might be imagined – in a Finland where anything or nothing may happen, with or without a Luger pistol, this book has a quiet insistence on personal experience. A unique take on the naming of endangered species here could be seen as a metaphor for what the ordinary people in these pages – and their would-be leaders – might in turn become.
Expressive and formally inventive, Loose’s seventh full collection night exposures lives right into its title: shining light into murky and overlooked corners which some might wish to be kept in the dark.
by Andrei Ivanov (trans. Matthew Hyde)
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm
Publication: 8 October 2018
Hanuman’s Travels, which was shortlisted for the Russian Booker in 2010, translated into German and French, and put on the German stage, is the picaresque tale of two asylum seekers, one a Russian Estonian man (the narrator) and the other an Indian (the protagonist), and about their daily lives in a Danish refugee camp and on the road in the late 1990s. While they are waiting to go to the Danish island of Lolland, which is said to be a paradise, the two companions in misfortune survive in any way they can. Among scams, big and small disgraces, humiliations and lies, a map is gradually drawn – a detailed map of itineraries where the hopes and the fears of thousands of marginal people flounder and intertwine. Their struggle at times engenders dismissiveness and even intolerance, but also humanity, courage and the wisdom born of experience and resignation. Andrei Ivanov was inspired to write this novel by his own vicissitudes as a stateless person living in Denmark.