With support from Arts Council England, the new imprint began with four anthologies showcasing a cross-section of stories from around Europe and the Middle East. The first of this anthology series, Decapolis: Tales from Ten Cities was published in 2006 year, as a pilot edition, and was followed in Oct 07 by a second, Elsewhere: Stories from Small Town Europe, featuring Ingo Schulze (Germany), Frode Grytten (Norway), Jean Sprackland (UK) and many others.
In 2008 these were followed by ReBerth: Stories from Cities on the Edge, a port cities anthology, looking at six cities around Europe, produced in conjunction with Liverpool's Capital of Culture year, and Madinah: City Stories from the Middle East, a compendium of contemporary Middle Eastern short stories, edited by the Lebanese poet and critic Joumana Haddad. The former was also launched in conjunction with a student creative writing and translation pilot scheme.
In 2010 we launched our first 'single city' translation anthology, The Book of Istanbul, featuring translations of short stories by ten of the city's most vibrant authors, as part of Comma's wider 'Book of the City' series.
In 2012 we ventured into China, with Shi Cheng: Short Stories from Urban China, an anthology of stories from ten cities across the country.
As well as the anthologies, in 2008 Comma launched four single-author collections from European short story practitioners, with assistance from the European Culture Programme. In 2009 with support from English PEN, Comma launched its first single author collection from the Middle East, Hassan Blasim's The Madman of Freedom Square. And in 2011 we published a further four collections translated from other European languages, and in 2012 published Hassan's second collection The Iraqi Christ.
Have a look at our translation editorial policy for more info on the translated work we're looking for.
Decapolis is a book which imagines the city otherwise. Bringing together ten writers from across Europe, it offers snapshots of their native cities, freezing for a moment the characters and complexities that define them.
For all we think we know of the conflict and exoticism of the region, nothing opens more doors to what we don’t than its writing. Here, ten short stories by new and established writers have been selected and translated in English for the first time, to open just such a door…
Featuring short stories by twelve acclaimed writers from the Cities on the Edge, ReBerth explores these landscapes of change - the social tensions, the scars of war and economic decline, the attempts at regeneration, and the startling and sometimes unsavoury secrets of how these cities’ inhabitants thrive and survive.
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.
This book brings together ten short stories from some of Turkey’s leading writers, taking us on a literary tour of the city, from its famous landmarks to its darkened back streets.
This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story from that era, as well as younger exponents of the form, with ten stories that offer glimpses of life in the Strip that go beyond the global media headlines.
The characters in Pawel Huelle’s mesmerising stories find themselves, willingly or not, at the heart of epic narratives; legends and histories that stretch far beyond the limits of their own lives.
The challenges depicted in these stories are uniquely Chinese, but the energy and ingenuity with which their authors approach them is something readers everywhere can marvel at.
Whether evading the expectations of adult life, or finding themselves drawn to characters they’re simultaneously repulsed by, each one of Hakl's characters holds a mirror up to the peculiar failings of masculinity.
The characters in Mirja Unge’s debut collection are all, in their own way, evading something; whether failing to confront the true nature of an encounter, or avoiding responsibilities as a parent, sibling or friend.