Founded in 2008 and based in Glasgow, Vagabond Voices is an independent publisher that is both Scottish and fervently European in its aims. Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages. Our list reflects our aims to promote literary ambition and innovative writers who challenge readers.
Vagabond Voices does specialise on particular literatures, with a strong Baltic emphasis with books from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Germany. It has published several books translated from Italian. Our translated novels include a number of European classics, such as Corrado Alvaro’s Fear in the World (an anti-Soviet dystopia published ten years before Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four), Antanas Škėma’s White Shroud (Lithuania’s greatest modernist novel), and various works by A.H. Tammsaare, who is considered to be Estonia’s greatest writer ever (we are currently working our way through his monumental pentalogy, Truth and Justice, at the rate of one large volume a year). Of contemporary works, we draw attention to Lars Sund’s A Happy Little Island and Ričardas Gavelis’s Memoirs of a Life Cut Short.
Vagabond Voices is a particularly proud of three masterpieces originally written in English: Stewart Ennis’s Blessed Assurance, Peter Arnott’s Moon Country and Chris Dolan’s Redlegs. Vagabond Voices also publishes poetry and political pamphlets, as well as the odd book of plays and collections of essays and other writings.
In a large family business the elder brother cuts out a dictatorial role for himself, creating a claustrophobic tension that can be resolved by only one thing: death. Skilfully pared down, this novel is evocative of so many incongruities in human relationships.
Anne Pia's responses to Baudelaire's poetry are emotional, intellectual and linguistic. Given her profound love for France's language and culture, Pia set herself the challenge of recreating some of this powerful mix in our English language. She succeeded in this and draws the reader into the intimacy of her own intellectual and artistic journey.
A cynical and narcissistic Italian journalist travels around Scotland to report on the Scottish independence referendum. His encounters and adventures provide a complex yet humorous take on the question of nation in the present day.
Anti-Soviet dystopia first published in 1938, after the author had been travelling in Russia during the period of the show trials. Published a decade before Orwell's 1984, it deals with the political use of fear and the millenarianism that underlay secular politics of the time.
Joseph Kirkland, who is being brought up in a strict religious community, is torn between his beliefs and his non-religious friends and his own doubts. This witty and acutely observed novel does not take sides but reveals how humanity usually wins out where different world views coexist.
By discovering diaries, photos and other material, contemporaries are taken back to the period of 1917 and 1918 when Latvia stumbled towards its destiny as an independent republic. Profound, original and keen to reveal not only the complexities of an important historical event, but a later generation's relationship to it.
Allan Cameron's second volume of poetry is more varied in style and content, but continues with some narrative poetry in the mix and to dispense almost entirely with the "self-as-subject" as Seumas Heaney defined poetry since the Romantics.
Lars Sund's prescient novel is the story of a remote community caught up in a human tragedy on a vast scale - asylum-seekers drowning at sea. Initially they react with humanity, but as more dead bodies wash up on their shores and disturb their safe lives, many in the community find it increasingly difficult to maintain their air of civility.
Against Miserabilism is a love letter, out of the past, to a new generation of radicals. It's a collection of articles by David Widgery, who, in addition to working as a full-time medical doctor in London's East End, wrote prolifically on matters of political and cultural importance from the 1960s till the time of his death in 1992.
Paul Kavanagh, a top Scottish blogger, has a weekly column in The National, and this volume brings his articles together so the reader can enjoy the author's humorous take on the post-referendum debate. He seeks out the inconsistencies and short-sightedness of the British establishment. This is political satire at its best.
Beneath the wit and linguistic trickery of Paul Kavanagh in the company of his trusted Wee Ginger Dug, you'll find an encyclopaedic knowledge of Scottish politics. Here is political satire in the best tradition. No punches are pulled, and strangely the humour is both brutal and subtle.
The third collection of Paul Kavanagh's articles from The National covers the increasingly demented Brexit years. He brings his usual wit and depth of analysis to Scottish politics and Scottish independence. Kavanagh continues to have a large following in Scotland and beyond.
Anthology of poems by forty new Scottish poets. A generation of poets has emerged who have grown up in an age of change, political and technological, with the internet providing them not only with new ways of sharing writing - through their websites, podcasts, Twitter - but also in some cases with a subject too.
Sonia Billings moves to the Highlands after her husband dies, wishing to be closer to where her son died in a climbing accident. Though seen as an eccentric white-haired woman, she quickly settles in to her new home. Daiches explores life's happiest, saddest and most mundane moments, highlighting the extraordinary in ordinary life.
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