HarperVia: Background information when reading Three O'Clock in the Morning

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Three O'Clock in the Morning

A Novel

by Gianrico Carofiglio

Three O'Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio X
Three O'Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio
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  • Published:
    Mar 2021, 192 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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About this Book


This article relates to Three O'Clock in the Morning

Print Review

In 2019, HarperCollins, the world's second-largest book publishing group, announced a new imprint for international literature: HarperVia. With a planned 24 releases per year, HarperVia focuses on works from around the globe. Staff in the US and UK work to streamline the acquisitions process: Rather than waiting for a manuscript to be fully translated into English before assessing it, they liaise with authors, editors and agents abroad to acquire buzzy pre-publication titles.

The imprint's list is currently mostly fiction, with up to 20% nonfiction. Books first composed in English feature international settings and themes. In the initial March 2019 press release announcing HarperVia, Judith Curr, President and Publisher of the HarperOne Group in New York, said, "We are excited to bring extraordinary stories with a global appeal to the World English market. HarperVia is looking for books in translation that will enliven conversation and spark the reader's imagination." The imprint's website describes it as "dedicated to publishing extraordinary international voices, offering readers the chance to encounter other lives and other points of view via the language of the imagination."

It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo Among the HarperVia titles published so far have been Then the Fish Swallowed Him by Amir Ahmadi Arian, an allegory of authoritarian restriction in Iran that takes inspiration from the biblical story of Jonah and the whale; It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo (translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer), a gripping novel set in the chaos of contemporary Venezuela; and international bestseller The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde (translated from the Norwegian by Diane Oatley), a dystopian novel imagining a world water shortage in the 2040s. A breadth of topics and locations have emerged through the imprint's first two years. While most of the releases have been novels, two recent nonfiction offerings are the biography Cleopatra: The Queen Who Challenged Rome and Conquered Eternity by journalist Alberto Angela (translated from the Italian by Katherine Gregor) and Consent by Vanessa Springora (translated from the French by Natasha Lehrer), a #MeToo memoir of a teenager's affair with a much older writer.

The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon Tara Parsons, Associate Publisher at HarperVia, told BookBrowse, "Fiction from around the globe is really resonating with the U.S. audience, even and perhaps especially during quarantine, which is heartening to see. The rise in isolationism, whether as a political vehicle or as necessitated by COVID, has left many readers hungry for books that open up a personal and intimate window into other points of view. We've also seen a real interest in fiction that provides social criticism, whether it is around the response to Hurricane Maria as it affects a young group of men and women in Velorio by debut author [Xavier Navarro Aquino] or around feminist awakening and society's double standards as in The Teller of Secrets, which marks the American debut of one of West Africa's most exciting talents, Bisi Adjapon."

Parsons hopes readers will look out for The Secret Talker by Geling Yan (translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang), which she calls "a tense psychological story of a woman whose marriage is at a crossroads" as well as The Radio Operator by Ulla Lenze (translated from the German by Marshall Yarbrough). Parsons says, "Based on a true story, this is a powerful novel about a regular man, an amateur radio aficionado, who becomes involved in history's darkest chapter." Both books are available as of May 2021.

We Two Alone by Jack Wang Her third personal recommendation is for We Two Alone by Jack Wang, out in June 2021. Parsons tells us the book "is receiving incredible advance praise. From the vulnerable and disenfranchised to the educated and elite, the characters in this extraordinary collection embody the diversity of the Chinese diaspora. In these deeply affecting stories, Wang subverts expectations as he captures the hope, pain, and sacrifices of the millions who journey into the unknown to create better lives, and explores the shifting boundaries of morality, the intimacies and failings of love, and the choices circumstances force us to make."

Filed under Reading Lists

Article by Rebecca Foster

This article relates to Three O'Clock in the Morning. It first ran in the April 21, 2021 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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