Our Next Books

Swan Isle Press does not publicize all the books that are “in the works” but when a book is getting closer to publication, we add it to this list. Please take a look, and consider supporting the development of our next books. Another great reason to support Swan Isle Press.

Aram’s Notebook

Aram’s Notebook

Maria Àngels Anglada

Translated by Ara H. Merjian

Will Publish May 2024

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A mother and son’s fictional journey to escape the Armenian Genocide and start anew.

Like any other fifteen-year-old boy, Aram might never have written the events of his still young life, except that he found himself suddenly plunged into exile, fleeing certain death. In 1915, the Ottoman authorities undertook the wholesale extermination of the Armenian people; hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children like Aram suffered one of the twentieth century’s most savage persecutions. Inspired by the plight of the murdered modernist poet Daniel Varoujan (1884–1915), this novel follows Aram and his widowed mother on their flight toward a new life on—and under—the sea. From recollections of his father’s meditations on Homer to a life-changing apprenticeship as a coral fisherman off the coasts of Cataluña and Marseille, Aram’s tale dives into a future that might help redeem a harrowing past. Aram’s Notebook examines the Armenian Genocide through a narrative in which poets and poetry loom large. Aram’s tale evokes a struggle not simply for physical survival, but for saving memory from the clutches of destruction. Evocatively translated from the original Catalan by Ara Merjian.

Alias Caracalla

Daniel Cordier

Translated by Rupert Swyer

With a Foreword by

Rupert Swyer

Will Publish April 2024

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An English translation of Daniel Cordier’s epic portrait and memoir of the French Resistance during WWII.

Daniel Cordier’s fascinating, intimate memoir is a major contribution to our understanding of the fraught and historic relations between General Charles de Gaulle’s Free French and the fractious resistance movements under the Occupation during World War II. As the first young secretary to legendary Jean Moulin, one of the leaders of Conseil National de la Résistance, Cordier recounts Moulin’s tense negotiations to bring together the resistance movements and persuade them to join forces under de Gaulle’s banner between 1942 and ’43. Cordier was a lookout on the fateful day the National Resistance Council was created, confirming de Gaulle’s legitimacy in the eyes of the French people and, crucially, in the eyes of Roosevelt and the Allied leadership. Later in life, Cordier penned his first-hand account of his role in the creation of Jean Moulin’s secretariat in Lyon and then Paris. Alias Caracalla is a brave and passionate story of action and self-discovery in times of war, with a sensitive and nuanced translation by Rupert Swyer.

Celia in the Revolution

New Edition

Elena Fortún

Translated by Michael Ugarte
With a Foreword by
Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles

Will Publish December 2023
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The first major English translation of the final book in the expansive and essential “Celia” series by Elena Fortún.

Set during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), Celia in the Revolution is the last in a series of young adult novels written by Encarnación Aragoneses, known by the pen name Elena Fortún, one of the most prolific and popular Spanish authors of the mid-twentieth century.

In a series of more than twenty novels, Fortún’s protagonist is Celia Gálvez de Montalbán, a precocious and rebellious girl from an affluent family who’s not afraid to question authority and dream, and that often gets her into trouble. Readers watch her grow from age seven through adolescence to the threshold of womanhood at seventeen, which is her age in this dark, inspiring novel about the war that changed Spain.

In this last narrative in the legendary series, Celia has an awakening that not even her lively imagination could have anticipated. The once carefree, innocent child prone to playful fantasies must suddenly confront a world that’s utterly changed, finding herself amid a bloody conflict, la Guerra Civil. Celia, now a madrecita, a little mother to her two younger sisters since the death of their mother, is forced into a life of hardship, a world of hunger, witness to violence, executions, bombing raids, and death. With Celia’s sorrows come her courageous and profound compassion, consoling and caring for virtually every war victim that crosses her path, no matter their political inclinations, and no matter all that Celia must contend with herself. Celia, despite all her travails, manages to survive with determination, defiance, and dignity.

Written immediately after the war, Celia in the Revolution was not published during Elena Fortún’s lifetime, until after the death of the dictator, Francisco Franco, due to censorship. This first major English translation by eminent scholar and Hispanist Michael Ugarte captures the narrative and nuances of Celia’s voice and others in this character-rich novel, and fellow eminent scholar and Hispanist Nuria Capdevila-Arguëlles’s preface brings powerful insights into this remarkable work by Elena Fortún that transcends young adult literature.

Finding Duende

Duende: Play and Theory

Imagination, Inspiration, Evasion

Federico Garćia Lorca

Translated by Christopher Maurer

Edited by José León & Christopher Maurer

Will publish December 2023
Pre-order now.

A new translation of Federico García Lorca’s captivating lecture on duende.

For years, Federico García Lorca’s lecture on duende has been a source of insight for writers and performers, including Ted Hughes, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, and Amanda Gorman.

Duende: Play and Theory not only provides a path into Lorca’s poetics and the arts of Spain; it is one of the strangest, most compelling accounts of inspiration ever offered by a poet. Contrasting the demon called duende with the Angel and the Muse, Lorca describes a mysterious telluric, diabolical current, an irreducible “it,” that can draw the best from both performer and audience.

This new translation by Christopher Maurer, based on a thoroughly revised edition of the Spanish original of 1933, also included in this volume, offers a more accurate and fully annotated version of the lecture, with an introduction by eminent philologist José Javier León. Drawing on a deep knowledge of flamenco, and correcting decades of discussion about duende and its supposed origins in Spanish folklore and popular speech, León shows to what extent the concept of duende—understood as the imp of artistic inspiration—was the playful, yet deadly serious, invention of Lorca himself.

Lorca’s bravura performance of duende is foreshadowed here with a bilingual version—the most complete ever—of his other major text on inspiration, “Imagination, Inspiration, Evasion,” in which he calls for greater freedom in poetry as if searching for duende and its “constant baptism of newly created things.”

Zóbel Reads Lorca
Poetry, Painting, and Perlimplín In Love


Federico García Lorca

Translated and Illustrated by Fernando Zóbel

Essays by Felipe Pereda, Luis Fernández Cifuentes, and Christopher Maurer
With a Preface by Marta Mateo

Now available for purchase

A cherished erotic play by Federico García Lorca, illustrated by a major Spanish artist.

Painting, poetry, and music come together in Zóbel Reads Lorca, as Fernando Zóbel, a Harvard student who would become one of Spain’s most famous painters, translates and illustrates Federico García Lorca’s haunting play about the wounds of love.

Fernando Zóbel

The premiere of Amor de Don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín, an “erotic allelujia” which Lorca once called his most cherished play, was shut down in 1928 by Spanish government censors who confiscated the manuscript and locked it away in the pornography section of a state archive. Lorca rewrote the work in New York, and an amateur theater group brought it to the Spanish stage a few years later. Since his death, the play has also been transformed into ballet and opera.
Zóbel Reads Lorca presents Zóbel’s previously unpublished translation and features contextual essays from several scholars. Art historian Felipe Pereda studies Lorca in the context of Zóbel’s development as a painter, Luis Fernández Cifuentes describes the precarious and much-debated state of the humanities in Zóbel’s Harvard and throughout the United States in the 1940s, and Christopher Maurer delves into musical and visual aspects of the play’s American productions.

Additional information at The University of Chicago Press, click here

Someone Speaks Your Name

Luis García Montero

Translated by Katie King

Now available for purchase

A coming-of-age novel by renowned Spanish writer Luis García Montero.

It’s the summer of 1963 and León Egea, a cocky nineteen-year-old student and aspiring author, has just finished his first year studying literature at the University of Granada and is starting a summer job as an encyclopedia salesman. León, infuriated by the injustices in Spanish society under the Franco dictatorship, comes to find that literature can speak the truth when the reality is clouded. 
In this coming-of-age novel by renowned Spanish writer Luis García Montero, León discovers that, under the repressive Franco dictatorship, people, places, and events are not always what they seem. But literature, words, and names open paths to discovery, both personal and political. Through lyrical fast-paced narrative, Someone Speaks Your Name explores literature as a foundation for understanding human relationships, national character, discrete differences between right and wrong, and for pursuing the path forward. As León’s professor tells him: “Learning to write is learning to see.”

Luis García Montero

Additional information at The University of Chicago Press, click here.

Returning from Silence

Jenny’s Story

Michèle Sarde

Translated by Rupert Swyer

Now available for purchase

A novel that tells the story of a Jewish family in World War II and reaches deep into Jewish history.
Born in Brittany on the threshold of World War II, novelist Michèle Sarde had long been silent about her origins. After her mother, Jenny, finally shared their family history, Sarde decided to reconstruct Jenny’s journey, including her exile from Salonica, move to Paris in 1921, and assimilation in France. The Nazi occupation then forced her and her family to hide and conceal their Jewish identity, and in this retelling, Sarde shows how Jenny fights with everything she has to survive the Holocaust and protect her daughter.
Returning from Silence
is a powerful saga that reaches deep into Jewish history, opening with the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and their settlement in a more tolerant Ottoman Empire. Sephardi culture and language flourished in Salonica for four centuries, but with the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s, and the sense of troubling times to come, Jenny’s family felt impelled to leave their much-loved city and rebuild their lives in France. Their years in France led to change that none could have fully expected, and then, the Holocaust. The trauma lasts well into the post-war period, silencing both mother and daughter in unanticipated ways.
Through this family history, Sarde sensitively raises questions about identity, migration, and assimilation while weaving fiction together with history, research, and testimony to bring the characters’ stories to life.

Additional information at The University of Chicago Press, click here.

The Azure Cloister
Thirty-five Poems

Carlos Germán Belli

Translated by Karl Maurer
Edited by Christopher Maurer

Now available for purchase

New translations of poems by prominent Peruvian poet Carlos Germán Belli.
This selection of poems by internationally renowned Peruvian poet Carlos Germán Belli tempers a dark, ironic vision of worldly injustice with the “red midnight sun” of hope. Belli’s contemplative verses express faith in language, in bodily joy, and in artistic form. These thirty-five poems explore public and domestic spaces of confinement and freedom, from paralysis to the ease of a bird in its “azure cloister.” 
Translations by Karl Maurer retain Belli’s original meter, follow his complex syntax, and meet the challenges of his poetic language, which ranges from colloquial Peruvian slang to the ironic use of seventeenth-century Spanish. This volume also includes notes and reflections on Belli and on the art of translation. Beyond introducing American readers to a major presence in world poetry, The Azure Cloister offers a fresh approach to the translation of contemporary verse in Spanish in this bilingual edition.

Additional information at The University of Chicago Press, click here.