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In the classical Arab tradition of tale-telling, here is a magical book that celebrates the power of storytelling, delightfully transformed for modern sensibilities by an award-winning author.The time is present-day Damascus, and Salim the coachman, the city's most famous storyteller, is mysteriously struck dumb. To break the spell, seven friends gather for seven nights to present Salim with seven wondrous "gifts"-seven stories of their own design.Upon this enchanting frame of tales told in the fragrant Arabian night, the words of the past grow fainter, as ancient customs are yielding to modern turmoil. While the hairdresser, the teacher, the wife of the locksmith sip their tea and pass the water pipe, they swap stories about the magical and the mundane: about djinnis and princesses, about contemporary politics and the difficulties of bargaining in a New York department store. And as one tale leads to another... and another... all of Damascus appears before your eyes, along with a vision of storytelling-and talk-as the essence of friendship, of community, of life.A sly and graceful work, a delight to readers young and old, Damascus Nights is, according to Publishers Weekly, "a highly atmospheric, pungent narrative."
An NYRB Classics Original. Set just after World War I, An Ermine in Czernopol centers on the tragicomic fate of Tildy, an erstwhile officer in the army of the now-defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire, determined to defend the virtue of his cheating sister-in-law at any cost. Rezzori surrounds Tildy with a host of fantastic characters, engaging us in a kaleidoscopic experience of a city where nothing is as it appears--a city of discordant voices, of wild ugliness and heartbreaking disappointment, in which, however, "laughter was everywhere, part of the air we breathed, a crackling tension in the atmosphere, always ready to erupt in showers of sparks or discharge itself in thunderous peals." This first complete English translation of The Ermine of Czernopol makes a masterpiece of postwar literature available to American readers.
A literary fiction about climate disaster and a scientist imploding on a journey to the AntarcticZeno Hintermeier is a scientist working as a travel guide on an Antarctic cruise ship, encouraging the wealthy to marvel at the least explored continent and to open their eyes to its rapid degradation. It is a troubling turn in the life of an idealistic glaciologist. Now in his early sixties, Zeno bewails the loss of his beloved glaciers, the disintegration of his marriage, and the foundering of his increasingly irrelevant career. Troubled in conscience and goaded by the smug complacency of the passengers in his charge, he starts to plan a desperate gesture that will send a wake-up call to an overheating world.The Lamentations of Zeno is an extraordinary evocation of the fragile and majestic wonders to be found at a far corner of the globe, written by a novelist who is a renowned travel writer. Poignant and playful, the novel recalls the experimentation of high-modernist fiction without compromising a limpid sense of place or the pace of its narrative. It is a portrait of a man in extremis, a haunting and at times irreverent tale that approaches the greatest challenge of our age--perhaps of our entire history as a species--from an impassioned human angle.
Kafka's terrible illness was progressing. He was a man who needed so much time, and who had so painfully little. Kafka lived his whole life as few do; these letters are a testimony to his intense vitality and to his genius as a writer.
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" ( Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer,Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject - the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity. A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).