Pushkin acquires 'genre-bending' work from Benjamín Labatut

Pushkin acquires 'genre-bending' work from Benjamín Labatut

Pushkin Press is to publish When We Cease to Understand the World  by Chilean author Benjamín Labatut, translated by Adrian Nathan West.

Publishing director Adam Freudenheim bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Nora Mercurio at Suhrkamp in Berlin.

He said: "When We Cease to Understand the World is one of the most original, memorable, provocative works of fiction I have read in a long time. I’m thrilled to be publishing this genre/mind-bending book and I'm very gratified by the incredible early response to it from such respected, beloved authors."

The work explores scientific discovery, ethics and "the unsettled distinction between genius and madness".

Labatut has written two other books which have been published in Chile by Hueders. When We Cease to Understand the World is his first work to be translated into English.

He said: "I am thrilled to be working with the people at Pushkin and delighted by the reactions that the book is getting from such well-respected authors. Because this is a strange work about strange ideas. It deals with the limits of thought, and what happens to those who stray past those limits. I wrote it purely out of my own interest in these stories, some of which took place over 100 years ago, and yet I can’t help but notice that it speaks to the present in a way that I could never have suspected."

The book will be released on 3rd September in hardback.