If imagining parts of Eastern Europe conjures up images of grey tower blocks and pickled cabbage, Istros Books is here to change that. Our mission is to shine a light on that ‘other’ Europe and reveal its glories through the works of its best writers. We endeavour to find the best from a wealth of creativity and to offer it to a new audience of English speakers.
At Istros, we believe that high-quality literature can transcend national interests and speak to us with the common voice of human experience. Discovering contemporary voices and rediscovering forgotten ones, Istros Books works hard to bring you the best that European literature can offer.
What’s in a name?
After a great deal of thinking about the areas of Europe we wanted to cover and the image we wanted to create, we came up with the name Istros Books. Istros is the old Greek and Thracian name for the lower Danube River, which winds its way down from its source in Germany it flows into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and goes on to cross many of the countries of South-East Europe: Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Its watershed also extends to other neighbouring countries, with one of the main Danubian tributaries, the Sava, serving Slovenia and Bosnia/Herzegovina, while also feeding the waterways of Macedonia and Montenegro. These are the countries of focus for Istros Books, evoking the image of the Danube river flowing carelessly across the borders of Europe and encapsulating the ideal of the free-flow of knowledge and the cultural exchange that books promote.