Elsewhere: Stories from Small Town Europe by Ingo Schulze

Elsewhere: Stories from Small Town Europe

byIngo Schulze, Olga Tokarczuk, Mirja Unge

Kobo ebook | December 4, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info


Prices and offers may vary in store

Available for download

Not available in stores


Gyrdir Eliasson (Iceland) - Frode Grytten (Norway) - Micheal O Conghaile (Ireland) - Danielle Picard (France) - Mehmet Zaman Saclioglu (Turkey) - Ingo Schulze (Germany) - Roman Simic (Croatia) - Jean Sprackland (England) - Olga Tokarczuk (Poland) - Mirja Unge (Sweden) 

What do we mean by small town? How has this innocuous term – one up from ‘village’, a couple down from ‘city’ – come to function as a pejorative? Pressed to describe what the phrase ‘small town’ conjures up, we’d be hard pushed to say anything positive: closed-minded; petty; provincial; parochial. On a broad European canvas, however, the rich traditions of short story writing challenge these preconceptions. The stories collected here are neither narrow-minded nor petty, nor do the minds of their protagonists contract to fit their environment.

In Germany, a house-husband is slowly sent over the edge by his over-achieving neighbours. In the town of Odda in Norway, a middle-aged Morrissey fan has a matter of hours to find a girlfriend so his ailing mother can die in peace. It’s the small gestures – a white lie, the turning of a blind eye, a small kindness or a secret kept – that allow the characters of these communities to survive, to breathe easily within the seemingly tight strictures life there can impose. It’s how we do things round here...

Praise for Decapolis: Tales from Ten Cities,
the first anthology in this series.

Europe is heavy with history and the trace left by cataclysm and upheaval. These are present in these tales, and yet coexist with a kind of wry and knowing playfulness.
– A.S. Byatt in The Times

The European short story is clearly in vigorous form.
– Matthew Sweet, Nightwaves, Radio 3

About the Authors

Gyrdir Eliasson is one of Iceland’s Leading contemporary writers. His style has been described as ‘highly personal; a unique combination of lyrical fantasy and imaginative realism.’ He was nominated for the Nordic Council Literary Prize for Gula husid (The Yellow House), a collection of short stories published in 2000. He has also received the Icelandic Literary Prize and The Halldor Laxness Literary Prize.

Frode Grytten was born in 1960 in Bergen, Norway, and grew up in Odda, a small industrial town on the Norwegian west coast. He spent fifteen years working as a feature journalist. He has published a collection of poems Start (Start) (1983), and is also the author of two children's books, a travel book, the novel Bikubesong (Song of the Beehive) (1999), and several short story collections: Dans som en sommerfugl, stikk som en bie (Dance Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee) (1986), Langdistansesvømmar (Longdistanceswimmer) (1990), 80 grader aust for Birdland (80 Degrees East of Birdland) (1993), Meir enn regn (More Than Rain) (1995), and Popsongar (Popsongs) (2001). His works have been translated into Swedish, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, Albanian, Croatian and Chinese. The story 'Dublin in the Rain' was included in the 2005 Harvill Secker anthology of Norwegian writing The Norwegian Feeling for Real, edited by Harald Bache-Wiig, Birgit Bjerck and Jan Kjærstad.

Micheál Ó Conghaile was born in Galway in 1962. A prolific short story writer, playwright and novelist, Ó Conghaile is a recipient of the Hennessy Literary Award, the Hennessy Young Irish Writer of the Year Award, and has been shortlisted for The Irish Times Literature Awards. His third collection of short stories, An Fear nach nDéanann Gáire, (The Man Who Never Laughs) was published in July 2003 to widespread acclaim. His work has been translated into Romanian, Croatian, Albanian, German and English.

Mehmet Zaman Saçlioglu is one of Turkey ’s most prominent authors, most well known for his short stories. His two collections, Summer House and Five Islands are considered among the best examples of contemporary short story writing in Turkey. Summer House received the Yunus Nadi Short Story Award in 1993, and the year after was awarded the Sait Falk Award, and a story from Five Islands won the Haldun Taner Short Story Prize. Some of his short stories have been translated into German and English. M. Z. Sacliogu lives and works in Istanbul, continuing a long career at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Marmara University, Istanbul.

Ingo Schulze, born in Dresden in 1962, studied classical philology at the University of Jena. He worked as the dramaturg at the Altenburg Theater until 1990, and then became a newspaper editor, a job that took him to St. Petersburg for six months in 1993. Since then he has lived in Berlin. His first book, 33 Moments of Happiness has won both the prestigious Doblin Prize and the Willner Prize for Literature. Three of the stories in this collection have recently appeared in The New Yorker.

Roman Simic was born in 1972 in Zadar, Croatia. He is the Artistic Director for the Festival of the European Short Story and the editor of the series Anthologies of the European Short Story. His own short fiction has been included in various selections and anthologies of contemporary Croatian prose and translated into many European languages. His publications include U trenutku kao u divljini (In the Moment Like in the Wilderness), (1996, Zagreb; Goran prize for Young Poets); A Place Where We’re Going to Spend the Night, short stories, 2000, Zagreb), and What Are We Falling in Love With, (short stories, 2005) which won the Jutarnji list prize for the best Croatian prose book of the year 2005, and is soon to be translated into German, Spanish, Slovenian and Serbian.

Jean Sprackland’s first collection of poetry, Tattoos for Mothers’ Day (Spike) was shortlisted for the Forward First Book Award and her second, Hard Water (Cape) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2003 T.S. Eliot Award. She lives in Southport. She has since contributed a sequence of linked short stories to Comma's Ellipsis series.

Olga Tokarczuk is the author of several books of prose, including Prawiek i inne czasy (1996) and Dom dzienny, dom nocny (1998). A number of her books have been translated from Polish to other languages, including French, German, Czech, Danish, Dutch, and Norwegian. Olga Tokarczuk lives in Nowa Ruda, Poland. This is the first time her work has been translated into English.

Mirja Unge was born in Stockholm in 1973. She received the Katapult Award for her critically acclaimed first novel, Det var ur munnarna orden kom, 1998. In 2000 she published her second novel, Järnnätter. The same year her novel Motsols (Tide) was shortlisted for the Swedish Radio Award. Her most devoted fans are younger audiences, whose problems she deals with in her works (particularly the confusing experiences of young girls growing up). In April 2007, her debut short story collection was published under the title Brorsan är matt, and received widespread praise for its fresh and idiosyncratic style.

Title:Elsewhere: Stories from Small Town EuropeFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 4, 2013Publisher:Comma PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title: