German indie publisher Voland & Quist Verlag is launching an English language imprint, V&Q Books, for distribution in the UK and Ireland.
Led by translator Katy Derbyshire, V&Q will launch its first titles in autumn 2020. Featuring German commercial, literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, alongside original English language writing from the country, the firm aims to release five to six flexcover books each year.
The launch list includes Lucy Fricke’s Daughters, translated by Sinead Crowe. It tells the story of two women, pushing 40, on a road trip across Europe, each of them dealing with difficult fathers along the way. The publisher said: “A bestseller and booksellers’ favourite in Germany, Daughters evokes laughter and tears by way of life and death, friendship and family.”
Also coming up is Paula by Sandra Hoffmann, translated by Derbyshire, a piece of autofiction about the writer’s relationship to her grandmother, a devout Swabian Catholic who refused to reveal who fathered her child in 1946.
Completing the launch list is Derbyshire’s translation of Francis Nenik’s Journey Through a Tragicomic Century. The synopsis explains: “Francis Nenik’s thrilling slice of narrative non-fiction is about the life of the forgotten writer Hasso Grabner, told with great joy in language and love of absurdity. The journey takes us from the Young Communists in 1920s Leipzig to wartime Crete, with Grabner falling from steelworks director to a vilified author banned from publishing his work in the GDR.”
Future titles include books by Selim Özdoğan, Isabel Bogdan, Marica Bodrožić, Birgit Weyhe, Ivana Sajko, and Marcel Beyer.
Derbyshire said: “I am thrilled to be heading up this exciting new imprint, which I hope will help bridge the gap between Europe and the UK. Our books tell stories of complex identities and family relationships, migration, and the impact of world history on individual lives. They are beautifully written, translated and presented, and have a strong sense of place. We plan to bust plenty of myths, including the one about the Germans having no sense of humour.”