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The new book from the winner of the inaugural International Man Booker Prize is a modern-day love story of powerful obsession set against the background of dark political intrigue.On the autobahn in Vienna a taxi leaves the carriageway and strikes the crash barrier, flinging its male and female passengers out of its back doors as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple in the back seat seemed to be about to kiss . . .Set against the tumultuous backdrop of war and its aftermath in the Balkans, The Accident intimately documents an affair between two people caught in each other's webs. The investigation into their deaths uncovers a mutually destructive obsession that mirrors the conflicts of the region. A destabilizing mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, Ismail Kadare's new novel is a bold and fascinating departure.From the Hardcover edition.
Psychologically incisive and impeccably crafted, Agamemnon's Daughter tells the crushing story of passion shattered by a heartless regime. Once again, Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of oppression, drawing us back to the ancient roots of Western civilization and tyranny.This collection also showcases two masterful stories: "The Blinding Order," a parable about the uses of terror in the Ottoman Empire, and "The Great Wall," a chilling duet between a Chinese official and a soldier in the invading army of the great conqueror, Tamerlane.
"Chronicle in Stone is epic in its simplicity; the history of a young Albanian and a primitive Albania awakening into the modern world." --Michael Dregni, Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Masterful in its simplicity, Chronicle in Stone is a touching coming-of-age story and a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit. Surrounded by the magic of beautiful women and literature, a boy must endure the deprivations of war as he suffers the hardships of growing up. His sleepy country has just thrown off centuries of tyranny, but new waves of domination inundate his city. Through the boy's eyes, we see the terrors of World War II as he witnesses fascist invasions, allied bombings, partisan infighting, and the many faces of human cruelty-as well as the simple pleasures of life. Evacuating to the countryside, he expects to find an ideal world full of extraordinary things, but discovers instead an archaic backwater where a severed arm becomes a talisman and deflowered girls mysteriously vanish. Woven between the chapters of the boy's story are tantalizing fragments of the city's history. As the devastation mounts, the fragments lose coherence, and we perceive firsthand how the violence of war destroys more than just buildings and bridges.
There's a lot of good to be said about publishing, mainly about the food. The books, though - Robert Dubois feels as if he's read the books, but still they keep coming back to him, the same old books just by new authors. Maybe he's ready to settle into the end of his career, like it's a tipsy afternoon after a working lunch. But then he is confronted with a gift: a piece of technology, a gizmo, a reader... Dear Reader takes a wry, affectionate look at the world of publishing, books and authors, and is a very funny, moving story about the passing of the old and the excitement of the new.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Ismail Kadare is one of Europe's most consistently interesting and powerful contemporary novelists, a writer whose stark, memorable prose imprints itself on the reader's consciousness. " --Los Angeles Times An old woman is awoken in the dead of night by knocks at her front door. The woman opens it to find her daughter, Doruntine, standing there alone in the darkness. She has been brought home from a distant land by a mysterious rider she claims is her brother Konstandin. But unbeknownst to her, Konstandin has been dead for years. What follows is chain of events which plunges a medieval village into fear and mistrust. Who is the ghost rider?
By the early 1970s, Romain Gary had established himself as one of France's most popular and prolific novelists, journalists, and memoirists. Feeling that he had been typecast as "Romain Gary," however, he wrote his next novel under the pseudonym Émile Ajar. His second novel written as Ajar,Life Before Us, was an instant runaway success, winning the Prix Goncourt and becoming the best-selling French novel of the twentieth century. The Prix Goncourt made people all the keener to identify the real "Émile Ajar," and stressed by the furor he had created, Gary fled to Geneva. There,Pseudo, a hoax confession and one of the most alarmingly effective mystifications in all literature, was written at high speed. Writing under double cover, Gary simulated schizophrenia and paranoid delusions while pretending to be Paul Pawlovitch confessing to being Émile Ajar--the author of books Gary himself had written. InPseudo, brilliantly translated by David Bellos asHocus Bogus, the struggle to assert and deny authorship is part of a wider protest against suffering and universal hypocrisy. Playing with novelistic categories and authorial voice, this work is a powerful testimony to the power of language--to express, to amuse, to deceive, and ultimately to speak difficult personal truths.
The first annual omnibus edition in the new Penguin Inspector Maigret series, comprising four titles from the series so far: Pietr the Latvian, The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, The Carter of La Providence and The Grand Banks Cafe. Additional material includes the original French first edition covers, art directed by Georges Simenon himself.Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels. 'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' - John Gray'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.' - The Guardian'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The IndependentFrom the Hardcover edition.the latter part of his life.
The first novel which appeared in Georges Simenon's famous Maigret series, in a gripping new translation by David Bellos.'Inevitably Maigret was a hostile presence in the Majestic. He constituted a kind of foreign body that the hotel's atmosphere could not assimilate. Not that he looked like a cartoon policeman. He didn't have a moustache and he didn't wear heavy boots. His clothes were well cut and made of fairly light worsted. He shaved every day and looked after his hands. But his frame was proletarian. He was a big, bony man. His firm muscles filled out his jacket and quickly pulled all his trousers out of shape. He had a way of imposing himself just by standing there. His assertive presence had often irked many of his own colleagues.'In Simenon's first novel featuring Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces the true identity of Pietr the Latvian.Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as The Case of Peter the Lett and Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett.'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant.' - John Gray 'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.' - The Guardian 'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The IndependentFrom the Trade Paperback edition.f Translation. The first book in the new Inspector Maigret series. Penguin is publishing all seventy-five novels in new translations, releasing one new title each month.
A gripping new translation of the first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series What he sought, what he waited and watched out for was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent . . . Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer comes into focus. The first book in the brand new Penguin Simenon series featuring brilliant renderings by some of today's best translators from French, Pietr the Latvian introduces the intrepid Inspector to a new audience.
Puckish and playful, Georges Perec infused avant-garde and experimental fiction with a wit and wonder that belied the serious concerns and concepts that underpinned it. A prominent member of the OuLiPo, and an abiding influence on fiction writers today, Perec used formal constraints to dazzling effect in such works as A Void--a murder mystery that contains nary an "e"--and Life A User's Manual, in which an apartment building, systematically canvassed, unfolds secrets and, ultimately offers a reflection on creation, destruction, and the devotion to art. Before embarking on these experiments, however, Perec tried his hand at a relatively straightforward novel, Portrait of a Man. His first book, it was rejected by publishers when he submitted it in 1960, after which he filed it away. Decades after Perec's death, David Bellos discovered the manuscript, and through his translation we have a chance to enjoy it in English for the first time. What fans will find here is a thriller that combines themes that would remain prominent in Perec's later work, such as art forgery, authenticity, and murder, as well as craftsman Gaspard Winckler, who whose namesakes play major roles in Life A User's Manual and W or The Memory of Childhood. Engaging and entertaining on its own merits, and gaining additional interest when set in the context of Perec's career, Portrait of a Man is sure to charm the many fans of this postmodern master.
From the Albanian writer who has been short-listed for the Nobel Prize comes a hypnotic narrative of ancient Egypt, a work that is at once a historical novel and an exploration of the horror of untrammeled state power. It is 2600 BC. The Pharaoh Cheops is inclined to forgo the construction of a pyramid in his honor, but his court sages hasten to persuade him otherwise. The pyramid, they tell him, is not a tomb but a paradox: it keeps the Egyptian people content by oppressing them utterly. The pyramid is the pillar that holds power aloft. If it wavers, everything collapses. And so the greatest pyramid ever begins to rise. It is a monument that crushes dozens of men with the placing of each of its tens of thousands of stones. It is the subject of real and imaginary conspiracies that necessitate ruthless purges and fantastic tortures. It is a monster that will consume all Egypt before it swallows the body of Cheops himself. As told by Ismail Kadare, The Pyramid is a tour de force of Kafkaesque paranoia and Orwellian political prophecy. "A haunting meditation on the matter-of-fact brutality of political despotism." -The New York Times Book Review. "Kadare's prose glimmers with the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez." -Los Angeles Times Book Review. "One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language." -Wall Street Journal.
Ismail Kadare's The Siege dramatizes a relentless fictional assault on a Christian fortress in the Albanian mountains by the Ottoman Army in the fifteenth century. As the bloody and psychologically crushing struggle for control over the citadel unfolds, Kadare's newest work opens a window onto the eternal clash between religions and empires as well as the exhilaration, despair, and immediacy of the battlefield.Kadare is a hugely respected novelist and a hero to his people, as well as an outspoken critic of all forms of totalitarianism. The Siege is a "powerfully atmospheric . . . and vividly rendered" (The Telegraph) novel of considerable cumulative power and resonance for our own times.
In the early 15th century, as winter falls away, the people of Albania know that their fate is sealed. Brilliantly vivid, as insightful as it is compelling, "The Siege" is an unforgettable account of the clash of two great civilizations, and a portrait of war that resonates across the centuries.
In a small town at the foot of the northern highlands in Albania, a decade after the fall of the Communist regime, the harsh blood-for-blood law of the fearsome Kanun mountain folk is emerging from hibernation, like everything else that was forbidden under the fifty years of Communist rule. Mysterious happenings that are two thousand years old, two centuries old, or even just two years old reemerge in daily life. The marriage of a girl and a snake is not just a legend but a news item-a cyclical event that is as much part of the modern world as of the ancient one. Set against this Kafkaesque backdrop, a simple and sensual love story between a painter and a young woman stands out as light against dark. With its rich and somber story of local traditions and universal themes, Spring Flowers, Spring Frost is a masterpiece belonging to Kadare's purest classical vein.
In a town at the foot of the northern Highlands, life goes on as always, but people are in a state of shock: a bank has been robbed, a sure sign of Westernization in this backward Balkan land. Meanwhile, other strange events--such as the marriage of a girl and a snake--confirm that ancient legends still prevail. People are flocking from far and wide to search for a tunnel to the Secret State Archives, said to house records of crimes they may have committed. Some even claim the ghosts of former dictators Hoxha, Brezhnev, and Ulbricht--not to mention Oedipus--have been seen there. Against this backdrop, a simple and sensual love story between a painter and a girl stands out as light against dark. - Increasingly, Kadare's extraordinary body of work marks him as one of the most important novelists of our time. - Kadare is published in 26 countries around the world, and his reputation continues to grow with very new work. - This work bears comparison with his very best fiction, and has received extraordinary and widespread review attention.
A powerful political novel based on the sudden, mysterious death of the man who had been handpicked to succeed the hated Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? That is the burning question. The man who died by his own hand, or another's, was Mehmet Shehu, the presumed heir to the ailing dictator. So sure was the world that he was next in line, he was known as The Successor.And then, shortly before Shehu was to assume power, he was found dead. The Successor is simultaneously a mystery novel, a historical novel-based on actual events and buttressed by the author's private conversations with the son of the real-life Mehmet Shehu, and a psychological novel. How do you live when nothing is sure?
A new novel from the acclaimed winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize for achievement in fiction. The Successor is a powerful political novel based on the sudden, mysterious death of the man who had been handpicked to succeed the hated Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. The man who died was Mehmet Shehu, the presumed heir to the ailing dictator. The world was so certain that he was next in line that he was known as The Successor. And then, shortly before he was to assume power, he was found dead. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? The Successor is simultaneously a page-turning mystery, a historical novel - based on actual events and buttressed by the author's private conversations with the son of the real-life Mehmet Shehu - and a psychological challenge to the reader to decide, How does one live when nothing is sure? The Successor seamlessly blends dream and reality, legendary past, and contemporary history, and proves again that Kadare stands alongside Marquez, Canetti, and Auster.
In 1958, Kadare was selected to pursue his writing and literary studies as a graduate student in Moscow at the prestigious Gorky Institute for World Literature. Twilight of the Eastern Gods is Kadare's fictionalized recreation of his time spent at this "factory of the intellect," a place created to produce a new generation of poets, novelists, and playwrights, all adhering to the state-sanctioned "socialist realist" aesthetic.During his time at the Gorky Institute, a kind of miniature Soviet Union where writers from deepest Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus all came to study, Kadare was caught up in the furore over Boris Pasternak's Nobel Prize win, when the Soviet Union demanded that Pasternak refuse the foreign, bourgeois award, or be sentenced to exile. Kadare's time at the Institute, the drunken nights, corrupt professors, and enforced aesthetics are fictionalized in a novel that entwines Russian and Albanian myth with history. Twilight of the Eastern Gods is a portrait of a city and a story of youth, disenchantment, and the incredible importance of the written word.
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