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Lily, Molly, and Inez are women of a certain age, of a certain bearing, of a certain class. Late one dire night, Molly telephones from Connecticut to catch Lily up with the news: Inez's corpse -- near-naked but wearing boots -- has been discovered propped up "like a broom" in a corner of her Soho loft. It is an occasion ripe for an all-night heart-to-heart conversation, bouncing deliriously from one evasion to the next -- until the pair of talk-crazy, talk-weary women have successfully diverted themselves with all the wonderfully vagrant stuff of life . . . with everything, in fact, except grief.
In an elegant and penetrating first short-story collection, Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived, Lily Tuck's characters travel to unknown, exotic places and, while there, find themselves deeply immersed in observation -- of the natives, the local customs, the foreign landscape -- in an effort to discern some elemental truth about who they themselves are. Instead, these women meet with disorientation, confusion; they are disappointed by the people closest to them -- lovers, husbands, family members. Finally, they arrive at the sometimes heartbreaking but ultimately optimistic realization that the answers they seek lie not in other people or places but within themselves. Limbo, and Other Places I Have Lived is a brilliant collection from a writer of exceptional poise and insight.
The year is l854. In Paris, Francisco Solano -- the future dictator of Paraguay -- begins his courtship of the young, beautiful Irish courtesan Ella Lynch with a poncho, a Paraguayan band, and a horse named Mathilde. Ella follows Franco to Asunción and reigns there as his mistress. Isolated and estranged in this new world, she embraces her lover's ill-fated imperial dream -- one fueled by a heedless arrogance that will devastate all of Paraguay.With the urgency of the narrative, rich and intimate detail, and a wealth of skillfully layered characters, The News from Paraguay recalls the epic novels of Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.
The first biography in any language of one of the most celebrated Italian writers of the twentieth century. Born in 1912 to an unconventional family of modest means, Elsa Morante grew up with an independent spirit, a formidable will, and an unshakable commitment to writing. Forced to hide from the Fascists during World War II in a remote mountain hut with her husband, renowned author Alberto Moravia, she re-emerged at war's end to take her place among the premier Italian writers of her day. When Rome was film capital of the world, she counted Pasolini, Visconti, and the young Bertolucci among her circle of friends. She was charismatic, beautiful, and fiercely intelligent; her marriage, a passionate union of literary giants, captivated a nation; her love affairs were intense and often tragic. And until now few Americans have known of this remarkable woman and her powerful, original talent.
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