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Other Press, Fall 2019

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The Siege of Troy
A Novel
By (author): Theodor Kallifatides Translated by: Marlaine Delargy
9781590519714 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Coming of Age Sep 10, 2019
$19.99 CAD
Active 5 x 7.49 x 0.6 in 208 pages Other Press
In this perceptive retelling of The Iliad, a young Greek teacher draws on the enduring power of myth to help her students cope with the terrors of Nazi occupation.

Bombs fall over a Greek village during World War II, and a teacher takes her students to a cave for shelter. There she tells them about another war—when the Greeks besieged Troy. Day after day, she recounts how the Greeks suffer from thirst, heat, and homesickness, and how the opponents meet—army against army, man against man. Helmets are cleaved, heads fly, blood flows. And everything had begun when Prince Paris of Troy fell in love with King Menelaus of Sparta’s wife, the beautiful Helen, and escaped with her to his homeland. Now Helen stands atop the city walls to witness the horrors set in motion by her flight. When her current and former loves face each other in battle, she knows that, whatever happens, she will be losing.

Theodor Kallifatides provides remarkable psychological insight in his version of The Iliad, downplaying the role of the gods and delving into the mindsets of its mortal heroes. Homer’s epic comes to life with a renewed urgency that allows us to experience events as though firsthand, and reveals timeless truths about the senselessness of war and what it means to be human.

Story Locale: Greece

ANCIENT GREECE BROUGHT TO LIFE. Recent years have shown a huge interest in fiction set to the stories of Ancient Greece. From Madeline Miller’s bestselling novels CIRCE and THE SONG OF ACHILLES to Pat Barker’s modern day retelling of THE ILLIAD in THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS, readers are eager to connect those historic legends and myths to more recent time periods.

ESCAPIST FICTION DURING WWII. Just as the characters in THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY used their book club and characters in THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR used their church choir as ways to escape the harsh realities of war, the characters in THE SIEGE OF TROY use the heroic stories of Ancient Greece to escape the terrors of a Nazi-occupied Greek village.

TEACHERS AND STUDENTS. The role of teachers as educators, protectors, and rescuers is of perennial interest to readers. From Tobias Wolff’s OLD SCHOOL to Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY, literature has presented a wide-array of teachers whose influence on their students reaches much further than the walls of a classroom.

ACADEMIC AND COURSE ADOPTION POTENTIAL. Just as THE MERSAULT INVESTIGATION has become an essential companion to THE STRANGER in high school and university courses, THE SIEGE OF TROY has tremendous potential for course adoption. We will promote heavily at NCTE and academic conferences.

Theodor Kallifatides has published more than forty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that have been translated around the world. Born in Greece in 1938, Kallifatides immigrated in 1964 to Sweden, where he began his literary career. As a translator, he has brought August Strindberg and Ingmar Bergman to Greek readers, and Giannis Ritsos and Mikis Theodorakis to Swedish ones. He has received numerous awards for his work in both Greece and Sweden. He lives in Sweden.

Marlaine Delargy is best known for her translations of the work of Henning Mankell, John Ajvide Lindqvist, and Kristina Ohlsson. She is also the translator of Therese Bohman’s Eventide and Drowned (Other Press). She serves on the editorial board of the Swedish Book Review. She lives in Shropshire, England.

Author Residence: Sweden

Marketing: Reading group outreach

Library marketing

Academic marketing high school and university teachers, NCTE

Goodreads giveaways and promotion

DRCs available on Edelweiss

Online and social media advertising

Publicity: Serialization outreach to literary interest (Tin House, Believer, Poets & Writers) and bloggers (The Millions, The Rumpus).

National review, feature campaign to long-lead magazines (Tin House, Believer, Freeman’s), weeklies (NYTBR, New Yorker) daily publications (NYT, LA Times, WSJ)

Review and feature outreach to translation, ancient history & Greece, WWII and literary outlets

National and local radio outreach, including NPR shows

Website/blog review and feature coverage

“Kallifatides has done a splendid job of retelling The Iliad…[The Siege of Troy] possesses the elegance and eloquence of simplicity. It’s a lovely introduction to Homer’s original.” —Booklist

“An enigmatic teacher brings the Trojan War to unforgettable life, while her private ambiguity provides a compelling counterpoint to this concise and powerful novel.” —Shelf Awareness

“Violent and poetic, with memorable psychological depth…Kallifatides’s reworking of Homer’s epic provides an intriguing take on the human dimension of the myth and strikes a rich, resonant note.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for Another Life:
“Kallifatides has written an unusual and refreshing memoir…A fascinating look into a prolific author’s mind, especially welcome since there have not been enough English translations of his books.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The work of Greek-born Swedish writer Theodor Kallifatides is not widely known in the United States. But based on the merits of his charming, late-life memoir…that shameful wrong needs to be righted. Slender in size, yet anything but slight in scope, this inviting meditation on age, writing and sense of place, beautifully translated into English by Marlaine Delargy, is witty, profound and thoroughly captivating…[an] exquisite book.” —BookPage

“In his elegiac, tender meditation on migrations, both geographic and psychic—from one country to another, from one language to another, from youth to old age, from the time of the present to memories of the past—Kallifatides offers his reader a personal politics of the human.” —Siri Hustvedt, author of The Blazing World

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