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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
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.
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.