Verso Books, an independent publisher of works on radical politics, is launching Verso Fiction, a new imprint focused on translated fiction that will release its first two titles in the fall of 2019. In September, Verso Fiction will publish Will and Testament, a novel by Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth, and In October the house will publish Kitchen Curse, a collection of short stories by Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan.
Verso Books marketing manager Anne Rumberger said Version Fiction will release two to four works of fiction a year with “an overwhelming focus on translated literature, though not exclusively."
Rumberger said that Verso has always published fiction, “but not with any regularity over recent years.” The Verso Fiction imprint, she said, “will focus our fiction publishing, reaffirm our commitment to publishing international voices and stories with unconventional styles.” Verso books are distributed in North America by Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
Verso’s acquiring fiction editors are Andrew Hsiao, who is also Verso’s publisher, and a senior editor, and Cian McCourt. Hsiao, Rumberger said, will focus more of his time on acquiring fiction. She said there will be no new staff hires for the new imprint
Kurniawan is the author of the novels Man Tiger (Verso; 2015), Beauty is a Wound (New Directions; 2015), and Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (New Directions; 2017). Hjorth is the author of more than a dozen novels and Will and Testament is the story of a family drama over the settling of a father’s will. In the past Verso has published such acclaimed international authors as John Berger, Georges Perec, Tariq Ali and Jenny Hval.
Rumberger said that sales of translated fiction are growing and noted that “we hope to be a part of the increased appetite for translated literature, and we’re proud to bring these books to an English-reading audience.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story used the wrong cover image for Will and Testament.