This is one of my favourite independent bookstores in NY located at 52 Prince Street in SOHO, one of my favourite neighbourhoods, a 20-25 minute walk from my daughter’s home.
(McNally Robinson is the bookseller I wrote about on the blog back in August last year).
So when NZ author, music historian, radio producer and book reviewer Chris Bourke mentioned to me by email that his friend Cheryl Sucher worked in this store I headed in there to say hello to her.
After a warm NY welcome and a chat about mutual friends Cheryl took me around the store pointing out books she thought I would enjoy. An hour later and I headed off to meet Annie for lunch at Dean & Deluca with three more books. Now I definitely am going to be in trouble with excess baggage on the journey home. I hope the check-in person at United Airways at JFK Airport is in a good mood!
Murder in Jerusalem
Batya Gur Harper $14.95
Batya Gur (1947-2005) was a literary critic for Haaretz, Israel’s most prestigious newspaper, and wrote six mysteries featuring Chief Superintendent Michael Ohayon but somehow they have never crossed my horizon so a new author and series for me.
Alessandro Piperno Europa Editions $14.95
Winner of the prestigious Campiello Prize for Best First Novel and the 2005 Viareggio Prize this book was the most talked about debut for an Italian novelist in many years and sold 80,000 copies in the first two weeks of publication.
Cheryl explained this was a newish NY publishing house specializing in translations so when I got back to my daughter's apartment I looked up their website and this is what they had to say about themselves:
Europa Editions publishes literary fiction, high-end crime and noir, children’s books and memoir. We enter our third year boasting a critically and commercially successful backlist and a fresh selection of English language originals and translations.
Europa Editions was founded in 2005 by Sandro Ferri and Sandra Ozzola Ferri of Rome-based Edizioni e/o, one of Europe’s most prestigious independent publishing houses. Our idea was to capitalize on Edizioni e/o’s decades-long experience to bring fresh voices to the American market and provide quality English editions enlisting some of the best translators in the business. Our appearance would be distinct, incorporating both European and U.S. jacket design standards. Our publishing endeavor would be as much a cultural enterprise as a business venture, convinced, as we are, that dialogue between nations and cultures has never been more important than now, and that this exchange is facilitated by literature chosen not only for its ability to entertain and fascinate, but also to inform and enlighten.
To this end, Sandro and Sandra were joined by veteran publisher Kent Carroll, formerly editor-in-chief at Grove Press and founder-publisher at Carroll & Graf. Kent acquires original titles in English, giving our list a truly transatlantic flavor, and heads up our U.S. offices, located in Union Square, New York. In the U.K. and Ireland, we are represented by Jane Goodsir of Powis Circle.
Roast Chicken & Other Stories
Simon Hopkinson Hyperion $24.95
Here is another title that got below my radar. Originally published by Random House UK in 1994 and 2006 it has now been published in the US in a truly handsome, irresistible hardcover edition with gorgeous illustrations by Flo Bayley.
On first publication this book won both the 1994 Andre Simon and 1995 Glenfiddich Awards (the gastronomic world’s equivalent to an Oscar) and was voted by a panel of chefs, food writers and consumers as the most useful cookbook ever.
Oh, and for the record the author was the founding chef at Bibendum in London and wrote an award-winning column for The Independent for more than 8 years. He lives in London.
Thank you Cheryl, and congratulations to you and your colleagues for a truly fine bookstore right there in the centre of Soho. I’ll be back.