Hypochondria, insomnia, restlessness, and yearning are the lame muses of these brief pages. I would have liked to call them Extravaganzas . . . because many of them wander about in a strange outside that has no inside, like drifting splinters. . . . Alien to any orbit, I have the impression they navigate in familiar spaces whose geometry nevertheless remains a mystery; let's say domestic thickets: the interstitial zones of our daily having to be, or bumps on the surface of existence . . . In them, in the form of quasi-stories, are the murmurings and mutterings that have accompanied and still accompany me: outbursts, moods, little ecstasies, real or presumed emotions, grudges, and regrets. --Antonio Tabucchi on The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico
"An enjoyable, well-crafted little book."--The Complete Review Translated from the Italian, this winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger for 1987 is an enigmatic novel set in modern India. Roux, the narrator, is in pursuit of a mysterious friend named Xavier. His search, which develops into a quest, takes him from town to town across the subcontinent.
The eight stories contained in Antonio Tabucchi's Letters from Casablanca introduce to an American audience a rising Italian writer (born 1943) whose intriguing narrative strategies make the reader an active participant in his work. Each story can be seen from at least two perspectives, and each protagonist can be seen as experiencing an objective "reality" or having his own imagined and quite possibly distorted view of events. Almost like a detective, the reader must try to puzzle out what has happened, what relationship X "really" has to Y. In "Dolores Ibarruri Sheds Bitter Tears," is the mother's report of her son's happy childhood just a remembered mirage? Is life inside a Fitzgerald novel a game invented by the narrator of "The Little Gatsby," or has the game indeed replaced any other reality? From the title story "Letter from Casablanca," with its double and triple inversions of our expectations, to the final thoughts of "The Backwards Game," where the author plays with the idea of reversing life and literature, the haunting theme of this remarkable and rewarding debut is: "Reality is unpleasant and you prefer dreams"--but modified in teasing counterpoint by the observation that "sometimes reality surpasses the imagination." The author implies that many of the stories are "true," but it is the reflecting and refining power of art and language which focuses seemingly random events into patterns of inevitability.
The eleven short stories in this prize-winning collection pivot on life's ambiguities and the central question they pose in Tabucchi's fiction: is it choice, fate, accident, or even, occasionally, a kind of magic that plays the decisive role in the protagonists' lives? The eleven short stories in this prize-winning collection pivot on life's ambiguities and the central question they pose in Tabucchi's fiction: is it choice, fate, accident, or even, occasionally, a kind of magic that plays the decisive role in the protagonists' lives? Blended with the author's wonderfully intelligent imagination is his compassionate perception of elemental aspects of the human experience, be it grief as in "Waiting for Winter," about the widow of a nation's literary lion, or madcap adventure as in "The Riddle," about a mysterious lady and a trip in Proust's Bugatti Royale.
A literary thriller of heroin rings and headless bodies uncovers social ills and corruption in modern day Portugal, whileas in all of Tabucchi's workblurring genre boundaries. Antonio Tabucchi, Italy's premier writer and a best-selling author throughout Europe, draws together Manolo the gypsy, Firmino, a young tabloid journalist with a weakness for Lukacs and Vittorini, and Don Fernando, an overweight lawyer with a professed resemblance to the actor Charles Laughton, to solve a murder that leads far up and down Portugal's social ladder. As the investigation leads deeper into Portugal's power structure, the novel defies expectations, departing from the formulaic twists of a suspense story to consider the moral weight of power and its abuse.
"One of the most intriguing and appealing character studies in recent European fiction, and easily the best work of Tabucchi's to have appeared in English translation."--Kirkus Reviews Dr. Pereira is an aging, overweight journalist who has failed to notice the menacing cloud of fascism over Salazarist Portugal, until one day he meets an aspiring young writer and anti-fascist. Breaking out of his apolitical torpor, Pereira reluctantly rises to heroism.
Set in the sweltering summer of 1938 in Portugal, a country under the Fascist shadow of its neighbor, Spain, Italian author Tabucchi's movingly restrained novel tells a tale of quiet, reluctant heroism. Dr. Peirera, the overweight, middle-aged editor of the cultural page of a second-rate Lisbon newspaper, wants nothing to do with European politics.
A private meeting, chance encounters, and a mysterious tour of Lisbon, in this brilliant homage to Fernando Pessoa. In this enchanting and evocative novel, Antonio Tabucchi takes the reader on a dream-like trip to Portugal, a country he is deeply attached to. He spent many years there as director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Lisbon. He even wrote Requiem in Portuguese; it had to be translated into Italian for publication in his native Italy. Requiem's narrator has an appointment to meet someone on a quay by the Tagus at twelve. But, it turns out, not twelve noon, twelve midnight, so he has a long time to while away. As the day unfolds, he has many encounters--a young junky, a taxi driver who is not familiar with the streets, several waiters, a gypsy, a cemetery keeper, the mysterious Isabel, an accordionist, in all almost two dozen people both real and illusionary. Finally he meets The Guest, the ghost of the long dead great poet Fernando Pessoa. Part travelog, part autobiography, part fiction, and even a bit of a cookbook, Requiem becomes an homage to a country and its people, and a farewell to the past as the narrator lays claim to a literary forebear who, like himself, is an evasive and many-sided personality.
As the collection's title suggests, time's passage is the fil rouge of these stories. All of Tabucchi's characters struggle to find routes of escape from a present that is hard to bear, and from places in which political events have had deeply personal ramifications for their own lives. Each of the nine stories in Time Ages in a Hurry is an imaginative inquiry into something hidden or disguised, which can be uncovered not by reason but only by feeling and intuition, by what isn't said. Disquieted and disoriented yet utterly human in their loves and fears, the characters in these vibrant and often playful stories suffer from what Tabucchi once referred to as a "corrupted relationship with history." Each protagonist must confront phantoms from the past, misguided or false beliefs, and the deepest puzzles of identity--and each in his or her own way ends up experiencing "an infinite sense of liberation, as when finally we understand something we'd known all along and didn't want to know."
It is a sultry August at the very end of the twentieth century, and Tristano is dying. A hero of the Italian Resistance, Tristano has called a writer to his bedside to listen to his life story, though, really, "you don't tell a life...you live a life, and while you're living it, it's already lost, has slipped away." Tristano Dies, one of Antonio Tabucchi's major novels, is a vibrant consideration of love, war, devotion, betrayal, and the instability of the past, of storytelling, and what it means to be a hero.From the Trade Paperback edition.
By Antonio Tabucchi, one of the most renowned voices in European literature and the foremost Italian writer of his generation, The Woman of Porto Pim is made up of enchanting, hallucinatory fragments that take place on the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. Told by a visiting Italian writer unearthing legends, relics and histories of the inhabitants, the tales shed light on a local restaurant proprietress¢s impossible love with an Azorean fisherman during WWII, a dazzling whaling expedition of eras past, shipwrecks both metaphorical and real, and a playful look at humankind from the perspective of a whale.