Stuck for a book this summer? Ten up-and-coming European writers to read

Euronews has a list of ten books to help decide which to bring with you on holiday this summer.
Euronews has a list of ten books to help decide which to bring with you on holiday this summer. Copyright Karolina Grabowska
By Hannah Gore
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Summer is often the only time when many of us can catch up with much loved reading so Euronews Culture has carefully selected ten of the best from Europe's most notable up-and-coming writers.


Summer is officially here, and with sunny days and holidays here already for some, we might all soon have free time for reading.

Choosing among the titles, however, is not always an easy task with many options to pick from so Euronews Culture has decided to lend you a hand, with our carefully curated list of ten books from some of Europe’s most promising writers. 

'Penance' by Eliza Clark

'Penance' tells the story of the murder of a teenager in Crow-on-Sea “on the eve of the historic Brexit vote”. Seen through the lens of a journalist trying to put together the definitive recounting of the tragic event, the book aims to look at what happens to the town in the wake of the dramatic saga.

Clark was on this year’s Granta list, which is known for identifying future star writers. 'Penance' was her second novel, the first being Boy Parts, published in 2020.

'Alindarka’s Children' by Alhierd Bacharevic

'Alindarka’s Children' is the English debut from Belarusian contemporary writer Alhierd Bacharevic. In the novel, two children escape from a re-education camp in the forest, “Hansel and Gretel style”. The camp’s doctor wants to retrain children to forget their native language, Belarusian and instead only speak in Russian.

Seeing as parts of the book were written in Russian, translators had to make bold decisions about how to represent the linguistic shifts.

'The Things That We Lost' by Jyoti Patel

Jyoti Patel’s first novel, 'The Things That We Lost', follows the story of Nik, who, when his grandfather passes away, begins to learn more about his family’s past and his own identity. British-Indian, Nik’s story interweaves with that of his mother, Avani, and the novel jumps back and forth between the 18-year-old’s timeline and that of his mother when she was young in the 1980s.

'The Things That We Lost' was published in 2022, and Patel won the Merky Books New Writers’ Prize in 2021.

'Close to Home' by Michael Magee

A young man named Sean has returned to Belfast after finishing his degree in English, and although he is supposed to have a bright future, his prospects are running thing. 'Close to Home' looks at the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the impact of incredible pressure of cycles of trauma on young men.

The Observer named Michael Magee as one of the ten best new novelists of 2023.

'Service' by Sarah Gilmartin

Famed Dublin chef Daniel Costello is facing accusations of sexual assault. 'Service' tells the aftermath from the alternating perspectives of three people in the aftermath of the scandal, including the chef himself, his wife, and a former server.

Sarah Gilmartin is a critic for the Irish Times, a playwright, and writer. Her debut novel, 'Dinner Party', published in 2021, was shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Award.

'What You Need from the Night' by Laurent Petitmangin

A father in France raises two sons alone after his wife passes away. Living in a town with limited room for opportunities, one of the two falls in with a local far-right group. The activities become increasingly violent, leading to a decisive breaking point for the father and his son.

'What You Need from the Night' is Laurent Petitmangin’s first novel. He works for Air France KLM.

'Dogs of Summer' by Andrea Abreu

In the midst of the summer of 2005 in the Canary Islands, the ten-year-old narrative of 'Dogs of Summer' is “consumed” by thoughts about her best friend, Isora. On the cusp of puberty, the narrator is fixated on her friend, with feelings of jealousy and desire.

Journalist and writer Andrea Abreu was named to Granta’s list of the best young Spanish-language novelists in 2021.

'Identitti' by Mithu Sanyal

In the German novel 'Identitti', blogger and doctoral student Nivedita admires one of her postcolonial and race studies professors. That is until it’s revealed that the professor is actually a white woman who has been pretending to be South Asian.

'Identitti' is Mithu Sanyal’s debut novel.


'Nothing Special' by Nicole Flattery

Irish writer Nicole Flattery’s second novel tells the story of a 17-year-old living in New York City when she drops out of high school. Her life takes a sudden turn when she is hired as a typist by Andy Warhol and begins to experience the countercultural movement.

Flattery also published 'Show Them A Good Time', and is the winner of An Post Irish Book Award.

'Pollak's Arm' by Hans von Trotha

German historian Hans von Troth makes his fictional debut with 'Pollak’s Arm', a novel that delves into the life of Jewish antiquities dealer and museum director Ludwik Pollak, living in Rome as the Nazis begin to round up the city’s Jewish population. He tells his life story as the clock ticks, as he only has minimal time to escape to a refuge.

Von Trotha also spent ten years as editorial director of the Nicolai publishing house in Berlin.

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