Bellevue by Ivana Dobrakovová (jointly translated from the Slovak), Jantar Publishing, London, ISBN 978-0-9934467-7-1, October 2019
“Bellevue” is not a comfortable read, but nor is it meant to be: it is a brave and unflinching account of mental illness, and an unsparing critique of a world that fosters it. Bellevue is the first novel of award-winning Slovak writer Ivana Dobrakovová, and it is a harrowing account of one young woman’s psychological unravelling. […] Her rapid decline is mirrored in subtle shifts in the writing style, and particularly in the punctuation, which fails gradually […] – these features are not only important to notice, but also to convey, and this fragmented style is superbly conveyed in the translation.” Helen Vassallo in Translating Women, January 2020
“Ivana Dobrakovová is well known in her native Slovakia as a translator of Elena Ferrante. In Bellevue she shows even greater ability than Ferrante to get into the mind of a rebellious adolescent girl.” Donald Rayfield in Literary Review, October 2019
“It is the confidence with which Dobrakovová conveys a young woman’s unravelling and her alienation from her peers that most impresses in this powerful novel.” Lucy Popescu, Riveting Reviews, October 2019
Big Love by Balla (jointly translated from the Slovak Veľká láska), Jantar Publishing, London, ISBN 978-0-9933773-5-8, October 2019
“This short novella is not only a sharp witted critique of contemporary post-socialist society in Slovakia, in the form of a fondly satirical take on its bureaucratic ineptness and literary pretensions, but it is also an endearing and all too recognizable romantic comedy of the kind that actually exists in real life more often than in the movies.” Joseph Schreiber on roughghosts, October 2019
“Though Balla, one of Slovakia’s most prominent contemporary novelists, has been compared to Kafka, he might more reasonably be called a nihilistic Etgar Keret (Israeli author of The Nimrod Flipout and multiple other collections of surreal short stories), given the thoroughly ironic, often absurdly amusing, take on contemporary life that characterises his work. […] Julia and Peter Sherwood do excellent work in co-translation (the presence of two different voices is non-existent), and evidently take pleasure in the text’s many ridiculous and amusing moments, as the spunk of the English version shows: the future, for example, is described somewhat presciently as ‘a total storm of dickheadedness’. Andreea Scriddon, The London Magazine, October 2019
The Night Circus and other stories by Uršuľa Kovalyk (jointly translated from the Slovak Travesty šou), Parthian Books, Cardiff, ISBN: 978-1-912681-04-4, April 2019
“Ordinary realism might be enough if your world is ordinary and realistic, but the reality that she represents, whose grittiness and surrealism is so wonderfully rendered from the Slovak by Julia and Peter Sherwood, requires another dimension. It is the reality of Central Europe that knows wholesale transformations because it has lived through them. To bring this life onto the page in such short, intense bursts requires something out of the ordinary, and in this diverse collection Uršula Kovalyk has found the imagery, focus, language and daring to have created something legitimately new.” Michael Stein, BODY.Literature, November 2019
“Each story builds a different universe, emancipated from what precedes and what follows it, yet still somehow connected. ‘Masterly storytelling that flows naturally’, is how Kovalyk’s explorations of a women’s worlds are perhaps described best. The Night Circus and Other Stories is an intimate book, because of our access to the innermost feelings and thoughts of its characters. It’s also entertaining, accessible, but not simplifying. Really – a collection extraordinaire!” Julia Secklehner, Central and East European London Review, November 2019
“Sometimes impressionistic and fantastical, sometimes naturalistic, Kovalyk’s The Night Circus, although not necessarily a virtuosic collection, offers an interesting and – often chimeric – examination of the representations of female identity.” Andreea Scridon in The London Magazine, October 2019
Fleeting Snow by Pavel Vilikovský (jointly translated from the Slovak Letmý sneh), Istros Books, London, ISBN: 978-1-908236-37-1 May 2018
“Pavel Vilikovský’s novel is a miracle of origami: an extensive and elaborate narrative unfolds from a very slim volume. […] Vilikovský has, over fifty years, produced […] a body of prose fiction that normalises the absurd. […] Being a great writer in a little spoken language, as the Czech Romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha once put it, is like being a volcano in Iceland: however powerfully you erupt, nobody notices. Slovak fiction, especially when such fine translators as the Sherwoods and David Short are at work, deserves attention.” Donald Rayfield in Literary Review, September 2018.
“Čimborazka, a digressive, eccentric narrator, is reminiscent of Bohumil Hrabal’s loquacious protagonists. The lighthearted tone at the opening belies the depth. The humour, the philosophical questing, the digressions about love and language, the pragmatic counterpoint offered by Štefan, and the metaphorical avalanche nest a complex of painful and difficult emotions that the loss of memory engenders. The result is a multi-layered story that raises many questions—the kinds without easy answers.” Joseph Schreiber @ roughghosts
Mŕtve jazero by Hamid Izmailov (translated from the Russian Вундеркинд Ержан into Slovak by Julia Sherwood), published by Inaque, Bratislava, ISBN 978-80-89737-51-2; e-book ISBN 978-80-89737-61-1, May 2017.
“The inability to grow, develop, live a fulfilled life, start a family, maintain proper relationships with other people has affected several characters of The Dead Lake. Through the simile of Yerzhan’s life Hamid Ismailov shows the processes of destruction that find their way from the past into the present.” Ján Blažovský, Medzi knihami
In the Name of the Father and Other Stories by Balla (translated from the Slovak V mene otca by Julia and Peter Sherwood). With an introduction by Gábor Németh and an afterword by Marta Součková, published by Jantar Publishing, London, ISBN 978-80-89737-51-2; e-book ISBN 978-80-89737-61-1, May 2017.
“Try to imagine Kafka, Beckett, Bukowski and Borges sitting down together over beer, bread and Eisbein then you get the flavour of Balla’s rather earthy, existential quest. Bizarre, intense and passionate, In the Name Of The Father reads beautifully, in spite of the bleak, banal and lonely life of the protagonist.” Rosie Goldsmith, #Riveting Reviews
“Almost 25 years after Slovakia attained independence as a state, however, its writers are finally appearing on the global scene, with at least three new English translations, including a comprehensive contemporary anthology, published in the last few months alone. Of these, perhaps the most significant is In the Name of the Father, by the award-winning postmodernist Balla.” Charles Sabatos, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Balla is a master of magic realism and postmodernism, and, most importantly, is able “to express the unspeakable” with frankness unprecedented in Slovak literature. Julia and Peter Sherwood’s skilful translation of his best novel, In the Name of the Father and three other short stories skilfully conveys the forceful impact of his terse parables.” Zuzana Slobodová, Times Literary Supplement
Into the Spotlight. New Writing from Slovakia. Edited by Magdalena Mullek and Julia Sherwood. Features 16 authors, including Balla, Jana Beňová, Ivana Dobrakovová, Uršuľa Kovalyk, Peter Macsovszky, Veronika Šikulová, Víťo Staviarsky and Marek Vadas (translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood). Published in the US by Three String Books (Slavica Publishers), Bloomington, IN ISBN 978-089357-466-6 and in the UK by Parthian Books, Cardigan, ISBN 978-1-912109-53-1, May 2017.
“Though drawn from the work of writers from one of Europe’s smallest countries, this source reveals itself to be something like a magic lamp out of which comes a multitude of subjects, themes and styles well out of proportion to its size. Like the best writers, this anthology brilliantly balances the specific and universal.” Michael Stein, BODY.Literature
” The volume offers hope that we will be reading more from these and other translators of Slovak. And for the time being, Into the Spotlight offers no small consolation in its delightful array of human portraits from Central Europe.” Duncan Lien, World Literature Today
“Both translators Mullek and Sherwood have stellar reputations for the quality of their work. Both are successful in hewing close to their sources, faithfully translating content and effects there, while producing fluent, naturalized translations, as stylistically diverse as the diversity found in the source texts – target texts that reveal considerable literary merit in their own right.” Mark Lencho, Slavic and East European Journal, June 2018.
“Thanks to the quality and diversity of contemporary Slovak fiction and their own wise choices, Mullek and Sherwood demonstrate that an anthology may be more than a catalogue, that it can provide a cumulative reading experience and leave a lasting impression, and that through its construction it can engage with not only the politics of translation, but also the broader politics and preoccupations of the world it enters.” Rajendra Chitnis, Slavic Review, December 2018.
“The anthology, edited by distinguished Slovak translators Magdalena Mullek and Julia Sherwood, succeeds in its promise of delivering an accessible, enjoyable read that nonetheless hints at deep existential questions.” Review by Corine Tachtiris, Translation Review, Volume 103, 2019, Issue 1
The Eastern Connection: includes essays by Jana Beňová, Radka Denemarková, Andrey Kurkov, Jochen Schmidt and Andrzej Stasiuk (translated from the Slovak, Czech, Russian, German and Polish by Julia Sherwood) published by Salon, Bratislava, February 2017
Antal Szerb, Reflections in the Library. Selected literary essays, 1926-1944. Edited by Zsuzsanna Varga (translated from the Hungarian by Peter Sherwood). MHRA Studies in Comparative Literature, 46. Published by Oxford: Legenda. February 2017.
“This is a beautifully produced and judiciously edited selection of essays by a major writer from early-twentieth-century Hungary…. [Szerb’s] findings on Byron, Shelley and Keats may all be familiar to the English-language specialist, but his witty and smooth prose, rendered in Sherwood’s superb translation, will be highly enjoyable for the general reader.
Forum for Modern Language Studies (Oxford University Press), 55.1 (January 2019)
Béla Hamvas: The Philosophy of Wine (translated from the Hungarian A bor filozófiája by Peter Sherwood), published by Medio Kiadó, Budapest, September 2016
“[O]ne cannot but marvel at Hamvas’s vital, sensual and synaesthetic employment of various senses and sensibilities; and in this respect, one must acknowledge the book’s marvellously vivid and vivacious translation by Peter Sherwood.” Dr Cain Todd, in Hungarian Cultural Studies 10 (2017), p. 255
Uršuľa Kovalyk: The Equestrienne (jointly translated from the Slovak Krasojazdkyňa), published by Parthian Books, Cardigan, July 2016
“An arresting tale of equestrian daring and a young girl’s coming of age set during the final years of communist rule in former Czechoslovakia.” Lucy Popescu
“Uršul’a Kovalyk’s novel is a rainbow of images and insights that guides a young girl to a world after communism. The rainbow is broken; it broke my heart. Julia and Peter Sherwood’s flawless translation gives pace and fluidity to a read spiked with moments of astonishing audacity.” Gabriel Gbadamosi, EBRD Literature Prize judge, 5 February 2018
“80 pages of a stunningly unique world through the eyes of a young girl in an eccentric (matriarchal) family in the years before & after former Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution”, Sophie Baggot (reading women writers worldwide)
Excerpt online in BODYLiterature.
Review in Pseudointellectualreviews:
“Ilona is therefore a feminist work but this is an undogmatic feminism capable of a nuanced look at women in recent European history.”
Philip Clement’s review in The New Welsh Review, March 2015
Kathryn Murphy’s review in the Times Literary Supplement, 3.4.2015: “The father’s increasing deafness, which gives the book its title, is paralleled by Krištúfek’s indictment of a nation that refuses to hear: deafness, he claims, is the national trait.”
Welsh Book Council: “…a major European novel of ambitious intellectual reach which tackles a significant subject in its tale of the Second World War, its aftermath and the long grey Communist suppression that ensued all as seen from a Slovak (and hidden Jewish) perspective. […] The English translation itself […] is of the highest calibre.”
Noémi Szécsi The Finno-Ugrian Vampire, a novel (translated from the Hungarian original A finnugor vámpír by Peter Sherwood), published by Stork Press, London, 2012. North American edition published by Marion Boyars Publishers, New York and London, 2013.
Michael A. Morrison’s review in World Literature Today:
“The Finno-Ugrian Vampire belongs at the top of your “must-read” list.’
Read excerpt and more reviews on Stork Press website
Lucy Popescu in The Huffington Post:
“Petra Procházková’s assured debut, Freshta, a bitter-sweet hymn to Afghanistan told from an outsider’s perspective”
Read excerpt and more reviews on Stork Press website
Daniela Kapitáňová Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book, a short novel (translated from the Slovak original Samko Tále: kniha o cintoríne by Julia Sherwood), published by Garnett Press Books, London, 2011. Read excerpt in The Missing Slate
William Boyd in Books of the Year The Guardian, November 2010
Michael Orthofer’s review in The Complete Review
Magdalena Mullek’s review in Asymptote
Rajendra Chitnis’s review in the Times Literary Supplement:
“A bestseller in Slovakia since its publication in 2000, Daniela Kapitáňova’s satire epitomizes both the Central European fascination with the madness of conformism and the specifically Slovak attempt not to explain it, but to capture its voice.”
Miklós Vámos The Book of Fathers, a novel (translated from the Hungarian Apák könyve by Peter Sherwood), published by Abacus (an imprint of Little, Brown), London, 2006 (trade paperback). Paperback format reissue, London, 2007. US edition published by Other Press, New York, 2009; second printing, 2010.
Jane Smiley’s review in the New York Times Book Review, October 2009:
“The Book of Fathers […] is graceful and alluring, a leisurely introduction to the last 300 years of Hungarian history and an often affecting depiction of the way individuals must appear and disappear, alive for a few years and then lost entirely, even to their own descendants.”
See also readers’ reviews on Amazon.com
For more details of our publications please go to our complete list of publications below:December3_-2019-list-of-published-translations