contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


5220 Dexter Ann Arbor Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI, 48103
United States

Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Pirate Talk or Mermalade, by Terese Svoboda

Dzanc Ebooks

Pirate Talk or Mermalade, by Terese Svoboda


Pirate Talk or Mermalade, by Terese Svoboda

7.99 9.99
Add To Cart


Pirate Talk or Mermalade is a novel in voices about two brothers who meet a mermaid, fall into pirating, and end up in the Arctic. Henry Hudson said “mermaids are as thick as shrimp in these parts,” and it was the Arctic where fellow explorer—and pirate—Martin Frobisher dropped off part of his crew.


“This book is something entirely new: a novella that’s also a sort of poetry, a poetry that’s also almost a stage play. Pirate Talk is a strange and nastily beautiful book.” —The Millions

Pirate Talk or Mermalade is immediately engaging, with prose that is breathtaking yet easy to read. Short and deft, I devoured this novel, and expect that many others will enjoy doing the same.” —NewPages

“This book does not shiver, does not waiver, does not thin, and reading it is to see how our brightest and best writers can stretch beyond what we think realistic or probable on the page.” —J.A. Tyler, elimae

“Told entirely through dialogue, this quirky tale of period pirate wannabes makes a jeu d’esprit of the privateer life even as it baldly de-romanticizes it. . . . Svoboda plays these travails mostly for laughs, presenting them as ongoing pratfalls in the brothers’ klutzy comedy of errors. Periodic visits from a mermaid (perhaps their half-sister) and a parrot who steals the scene every time he croaks ‘Hanged!’ add to the fun. —Publishers Weekly


The many faces of Terese Svoboda’s luminous writing include eleven books of poetry, fiction, translation, and over one hundred short stories. Trailer Girl and Other Stories, her third novel, was reissued in paper last fall. “Unnerve thyself: the violent and enthralling short stories in Trailer Girl detonate on contact,” writes Vanity Fair. Her memoir Black Glasses Like Clark Kent was termed “Astounding!” by the New York Post, selected as a Japan Times “Best of Asia 2008” book, and won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. Praised as a “fabulous fabulist” by Publishers Weekly for her last novel, Tin God,Vogue lauded her first, Cannibal, as a female Heart of Darkness. Svoboda is also the recipient of the Bobst Prize (for Cannibal), the Iowa Prize for poetry, and the O. Henry Award for the short story. Her work has been selected for the “Writer’s Choice” column inThe New York Times Book Review, a SPIN magazine book of the year, and one of theVoice Literary Supplement’s ten best reads. Her opera WET premiered at LA’s Disney Hall in 2005. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, The New School, Bennington, Davidson University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Miami, Fairleigh Dickinson, Williams College, San Francisco State College, and the College of William and Mary, and is teaching fiction at Columbia’s School of the Arts.