The Novella is a stunning form and often over-looked by readers and publishers alike. It is not a long short story nor is it a short novel. It is an art from in its own right – somewhat of a bridge between and poem and a story. A theme with a narrative.
Writing in the New Yorker in 2012 Ian MacEwan said this of the Novella.
I believe the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction. It is the beautiful daughter of a rambling, bloated, ill-shaven giant (but a giant who’s a genius on his best days). And this child is the means by which many first know our greatest writers. Readers come to Thomas Mann by way of “Death in Venice,” Henry James by “The Turn of the Screw,” Kafka by “Metamorphosis,” Joseph Conrad by “Heart of Darkness,” Albert Camus by “L’Etranger.” I could go on: Voltaire, Tolstoy, Joyce, Solzhenitsyn. And Orwell, Steinbeck, Pynchon. And Melville, Lawrence, Munro. The tradition is long and glorious.
We agree. The novella an excellent way to experience a different culture and milieu. There’s something delicious in a brief intense read that leads to long after-taste, usually bitersweet.
So in honour of the art form we are releasing a collection of novellas which we think deserve a much wider reading.
Our series of Fabulous Novellas beginn with a stunning pair by Nikolai Leskov; Lady Macbeth of Mzinsk District and Cross-eyed Lefty and the Steel Flea.
Another Russian masterpiece is The Seven who were Hanged by Leonid Andreyev the book that inspired a group of Bosnian revolutionaries to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, triggering the crisis that led to World War I.
These are accompanied by Siddhartha and The Journey to the East by the nobel prize winning German writer, Herman Hesse.
And finally by The Dead by James Joyce – which it has been argued is the greatest novella ever wrtiten.
These became available in December 2017 and many more to come througout 2018. If you have a favourite novella that you’d like to see back in print, please let us know.