I found Speaking Tiger Books through Kavita Singh and her beautiful Kaffeinated Konversations Book Box in January when I received two stunning books from their collection: The Storyteller’s Tale by Omair Ahmed and East of Suez by Alice Perrin. Blown away by the quality of literature, I learnt that this particular publishing company was barely two years old and was dedicated to reviving lost classics and other gems that would be loved and appreciated by the Indian readers.
There was no particular niche or genre that they focus on, striving to bring all kinds of stories from all walks of life without being predictable or stereotyped. The one common factor however was their intense focus on bringing back hidden gems of the indian literature and relaunching them through translations or new, contemporary covers. The names of Alice Perrin, Ruskin Bond, Sudhin N.Ghose, Jim Corbett, M. R. James are a few of the many forgotten names that need to be a part of the new generation of readers.
In addition to that, you will find books by Mahesh Bhatt, Sharad Pawar, Arthur Conan Doyle, Malavika Rajkotia in their portfolio. Now, unbelievable as it may sound, I wasn’t asked to do this. Heck, I was so happy to see their books and their collection that I went and asked them if they had a problem if I dedicated a whole page to them! I have always been an advocate of great literature and especially when it comes to the Lost Art of Indian Storytelling and hence, I’m an unabashedly shameless promotor.
Vampire In Love by Enrique Vila-Matas
A father summons his son to his deathbed to tell him that he arranged
for his wife’s death. An effeminate, hunchbacked barber—known to everyone as Nosferatu—decides to see, one last time, the choirboy he has fallen in love with. A fledgling writer on amphetamines visits the French writer Marguerite Duras’s Paris apartment and watches his dinner companion slip into the abyss. An unsuspecting man receives a mysterious phone call from a lonely ophthalmologist, visits his abandoned villa, and is privy to a secret. And a writer on vacation decides—as a way of paying tribute to the pioneering composer Erik Satie—to reply to nineteen emails without reading them. The stories in Vampire in Love, brilliantly translated by renowned translator Margaret Jull Costa, are all told with Vila-Matas’s signature erudition and wit and his provocative, relentless questioning of the interrelation of art and life.
Enrique Vila-Matas is widely hailed by his peers and readers as one of the greatest writers of fiction in contemporary Spanish literature.
Gathered for the first time in English, and spanning the author’s entire career, Vampire in Love offers a selection of Vila Matas’s finest short stories. Enrique Vila-Matas, ‘arguably Spain’s most significant contemporary literary figure’ (The New Yorker), was born in Barcelona in 1948. He studied law and journalism before becoming a columnist and film critic. A prolific writer with a fluidic style that frequently blurs the boundaries between fiction, essay and biography, Vila-Matas’s extensive oeuvre includes novels, books of short stories and collections of essays. He has received numerous literary awards for his work in France, Italy, Chile and Spain. Vila-Matas’s best-known work includes the books of short stories Forever Suicides and Children without Children, and the novels Dublinesque and Montano’s Malady.
Margaret Jull Costa has been translating Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American fiction for over twenty years, including the works of Fernando Pessoa, Javier Marías, Bernardo Atxaga, and Nobel laureate José Saramago. She won the translator’s portion of the 1997 IMPAC Award for Javier Marías’ Heart So White and the 2006 Premio Valle-
Inclán for her translation of the first volume of his trilogy Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear.
‘Highly original, both lucid and ludic.’
‘Tales of surrealist noir in which virtually anything can happen except
happiness … An array of outcasts—faded movie stars, ghosts, a
sinister nun—[who] indulge in sudden blitzes of drugs, kidnapping, and terrorism when they’re not pondering the meaning of life … The experience of reading Vila-Matas is, for all his apparent pessimism,
curiously uplifting …’
—The New Yorker
‘[These] tremendously touching characters … who stumble from one
place to the next, not really sure where they are going, but always on a quest—are so deeply comical on the one hand, and so deeply poignant on the other, that you just have to give yourself up to it because you’re in the hands of a master.’
‘Odd stories with a bite: cynical, funny, and often puzzling.’
‘Playful, highly accessible, and beautifully translated, the stories in
Vampire in Love showcase a master writer who is happy to indulge the
imagination and explore the possibilities of existence.’
‘These stories swerve in unexpected directions… Vila-Matas fills his
fiction with forlorn characters, yet never have so many stories about
distressed personalities been so incredibly amusing.
‘[A] … work that routinely disrupts and teases the expectations of not just the characters of its pages, but of the readers. [Vila-Matas] equips both with shreds of certainty, wisps of desire, then sends them spinning into a world of blurred categories, strange tempos, multiplying selves, confused identities. His are lands in which everything is contested, and where absences—whether in the form of romantic loss, thwarted hopes, memory, failure or death—are pervasive, patient, often
‘Rare is a talent with supernatural ability to fuse genre and literary
fiction, but Vila-Matas does it effortlessly. Be prepared to have your
breath taken away…’
‘With oft-remarkable prose, wit, and more than a little playfulness,
Vila-Matas’s short fiction reveals an artisan as comfortable (and as skillful) in brevity as he is in longer form. Vampire in Love ably demonstrates the wide variety of storytelling hues available on Vila-Matas’s literary palette.’
More Reasons To Buy The Book
• An unusual book of stories by one of the greatest contemporary writers in the Spanish language, who is being spoken of as a potential future Nobel laureate.
• Enrique Vila-Matas’s work has been richly praised in the US, UK and Europe for his ability to innovate narrative structures, the enormous breadth of his literary allusions, and the exuberance ofhis stories.
• Readers who enjoy reading the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Jose Saramago and Roberto Bolaño will be captivated by Vampire in Love.