Andrzej Tichý and Nichola Smalley in conversation

On 15 April, SELTA hosted a virtual event on Andrzej Tichý’s International Booker longlisted novel “Wretchedness” with its translator Nichola Smalley. If you missed it, it is now up on YouTube.

Malmö, Sweden. A cellist meets a spun-out junkie. That could have been me. His mind starts to glitch between his memories and the avant-garde music he loves, and he descends into his past, hearing all over again the chaotic song of his youth. He emerges to a different sound, heading for a crash.

From sprawling housing projects to underground clubs and squat parties, Wretchedness is a blistering trip through the underbelly of Europe’s cities. Powered by a furious, unpredictable beat, this is a paean to brotherhood, to those who didn’t make it however hard they fought, and a visceral indictment of the poverty which took them.

Celebrating Wretchedness, published by And Other Stories, we brought together author Andrzej Tichý and translator Nichola Smalley to talk about the book and the translation process.Their fascinating discussion, ably hosted by Dr Anja Tröger at very short notice, is now up on SELTA’s YouTube channel. Watch it here.

With thanks to the Embassy of Sweden in London for their support for this event.