7 Criminally Underrated Fiction Titles (Europa Editions)

New York-based indie publisher, Europa Editions, has published fiction, narrative nonfiction and mysteries from over 30 countries, aiming to increase cultural diversity within popularly consumed and celebrated literature. Launching names like Elena Ferrante, identifiable by their uniform design and consistent style (all covers being designed by a single artist), Europa offers a wonderful curation of books from across the world, taking you country-by-country through a realm of wonderfully fresh perspectives and blaring new voices. Our team has selected 7 choice fiction from within this impressive roster, promising to bring the very best and criminally underrated to your doorstep!

Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey

Award-winning New Zealand author Catherine Chidgey’s “Remote Sympathy” delves into the horrors of the Buchenwald concentration camp through a disturbingly personal lens. The narrative unfolds through multiple perspectives, including a camp administrator and his family, forcing us to confront the depths of human capacity for denial and self-deception. Chidgey’s masterful use of an epistolary format and psychological insights sheds light on the grey areas of moral culpability, making this historical fiction a deeply unsettling yet unforgettable exploration of conscience.

The Life of the Mind by Christine Smallwood

A critic, known for her hilarious pieces on Britney Spears and Stephanie Meyers, published in the New York Times, New Yorker and Paris Review among a few, Christine Smallwood is a critical writer for a contemporary audience. Her debut novel, The Life of the Mind, carries her distinct brand of humour as it forays into the bendy and gripping world of psychological fiction. The novel opens with middle-aged adjunct English professor Dorothy, sitting in a library toilet, intensely googling the meaning of these inexplicable “knots of string” pouring out of her body. With such an immediately contemporary and darkly amusing start, setting the tone for her piece, Smallwood explores the intricacies of a miscarriage in how it forces her protagonist to confront her body, work, relationships and sense of self.

Trust by Domenico Starnone

Italian author Domenico Starnone’s “Trust” is a taut psychological novel exploring the complexities of love and deception. The story unfolds through the eyes of Pietro, a man haunted by a secret shared with a passionate student, Teresa. Years later, happily married to Nadia, Pietro’s past resurfaces, throwing his carefully constructed life into turmoil. Starnone, known for his unflinching portrayal of human flaws, weaves a suspenseful narrative that probes the depths of trust, desire, and the facades we maintain.

Not Russian by Mikhail Shevelev

Not Russian, a political thriller by Russian journalist Mikhail Shevelev, weaves a hostage crisis with a journalist’s disillusionment. Shocked to see his old friend leading the attack, Pavel, the narrator, is thrust into negotiation. Flashbacks reveal their past, shaped by the turmoil of Chechnya and Russia’s post-Soviet struggles. Shevelev, a former dissident journalist, uses this personal lens to deliver a scathing critique of the government and the human cost of conflict, offering a raw perspective on modern Russia.

Lambada by David Musgrave

British artist and now author, Musgrave, whose work has been multiply exhibited at MoMA and Tate, emerges with a short, lyrical and experimental foray into science fiction. A highly recommended read, Lambada introduces us to a distinctly new breed of the otherworldly: aliens from far off seas, possessing a human genetic composition, wanting nothing more than to work in middle to low-income jobs and be left alone. But when a bomb goes off in a school, and a group of extremist lambadas claim responsibility, their potential for violence and harm becomes deeply suspect. A deeply original and riveting read, Musgrave’s is an interrogation of violence, technology and the place of the human amongst a realm of sentient beings. 

No Touching by Ketty Rouf

A philosopher mentored by the brilliant Paul Ricœur, a classical dancer, as well as a translator and language interpreter, the extremely impressive Italian Ketty Rouf is now an author, with her exemplary debut novel No Touching. Winner of the illustrious Prix du Premier Roman 2020 (the First Novel Award), this novel in translation follows the life of Parisian high school teacher Josephine, who moonlights as a strip club dancer and spends her waking life balancing Xanax with Tupperware lunches. Introducing a fresh, contemporary and extremely unadulterated character into fiction, Rouf employs her protagonist to revolt against tired prejudicial notions of womanhood, offering a liberating and deeply invigorating narrative that unabashedly explores the relationship between power and desire.  

Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin

In “Fresh Water for Flowers,” Valérie Perrin, a French author known for her heartwarming and insightful touch, weaves a tale around Violette Toussaint. Violette tends a cemetery in Burgundy, France, finding solace and connection amidst the mourners and quirky characters who visit. Her peaceful routine is disrupted by a police chief seeking an unusual request. This unexpected encounter unlocks a poignant story about finding happiness, confronting regrets, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, all delivered in Perrin’s signature style that blends humour, tenderness, and a touch of mystery.

Pick up any of these 7 Criminally Underrated Fiction Titles (Europa Editions) from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.

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