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(04/19/2009) Manual Of Piety by Bertolt Brecht. New York. 1966. Grove Press. Translated From The German By Eric Bentley. Notes by Hugo Schmidt. keywords: Literature Germany Translated Poetry. 312 pages. Jacket drawing from a work by George Grosz.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   MANUAL OF PIETY was Bertolt Brecht's first and best book of poems, a landmark not only in his own lifework, but also in the literature of twentieth-century Europe. It takes the form of devotional literature. On the one hand a spoof, it is, on the other, a completely serious critique of the old culture of Europe in general, and of Germany in particular. Although Brecht completed the work in 1926—and began it a decade earlier—the Nazis are clearly depicted in the poems. The middle class is in it as well, that very German middle class known to the world from the drawings of Brecht's contemporary and collaborator, George Grosz. And, above all, Bertolt Brecht is in it. All the Bertolt Brechts: the devout and the anti-devout. the individualist and the anti-individualist. the skeptic and the ‘Stalinist. ’ The English text is by Brecht's leading interpreter in the English language, Eric Bentley. Mr. Bentley started with the songs, making English versions for his own use, a number of which he has sung on hi-fi recordings. Neither literal nor freely adapted, this English text captures the spirit of Brecht as it has seldom been caught in a foreign language. The notes by Hugo Schmidt, which place each poem in its historical and literary context, explain for the reader many of the topical and local allusions and, with their wealth of background information, provide an important new contribution to the growing body of Brecht scholarship.

Dr. Schmidt teaches German literature at Bryn Mawr College.

 

 

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(04/17/2009) The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book edited by Angela Carter. New York. 1990. Pantheon Books. Illustrated by Corinna Sargood. keywords: Mythology Women Anthology. 243 pages. Jacket illustration by Zita Asbaghi locket design by Marjorie Anderson. 0394587642. October 1990.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Once upon a time fairy tales weren't meant just for children—they were an oral tradition of marvelous fables and folklore passed down through generations. THE OLD WIVES' FAIRY TALE BOOK is an enchanting volume of enduring tales from around the world, collected by master storyteller Angela Carter. Ranging from ancient Swahili legends to Appalachian tall tales, the selections all feature female protagonists; and be they clever or brave, or good, or silly, or cruel, or heroic, or awesomely unfortunate, these women are always called to action. Splendidly illustrated with Corinna Sargood's commissioned line drawings, THE OLD WIVES FAIRY TALE BOOK is a delightful mix of the romantic, the ribald, and the hilarious, and represents an extraordinary addition to Pantheon's folklore library.

One of Britain's most original writers, Angela Carter was largely acclaimed for her novels, short stories, and journalism. In 1967 she won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for THE MAGIC TOYSHOP, and in 1968 the Somerset Maugham Award for SEVERAL PERCEPTIONS. Her many other books include THE SADEIAN WOMAN, NIGHTS AT THE CIRCUS, FIREWORKS, and SAINTS AND STRANGERS. Two of her works have been adopted for film, the highly praised THE COMPANY OF WOLVES, derived from ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ and THE MAGIC TOYSHOP.

Corinna Sargood is the artist, author, and illustrator of JOURNEY TO THE JUNGLE: AN ARTIST IN PERU. She has worked on a variety of projects including print-making, illustrating books, film animation, puppet shows, painting, and etching. She lives in London.

 

 

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(04/16/2009) A German Requiem: A Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr. New York. 1991. Viking Press. keywords: Mystery Germany England. 308 pages. Jacket design & illustration by Darren Woolford. 0670835161.

My favorite of the Bernie Gunther novels.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In the bitter winter of 1947, as the Russian Zone closes around the ruined city, Berliners live on fear and dubiously earned PX goods. So when an enigmatic Russian colonel asks private eye Bernie Gunther to go to Vienna, where his ex-Kripo colleague Emil Becker faces a murder charge, Bernie doesn't hesitate for long. And Vienna is a different world: prosperous, peaceful, the gracious hostess to the Powers' proliferating bureaucracies, her buildings and consciences almost rebuilt. Not the aptest haven perhaps for a black-marketeer and war-criminal - but despite Becker's unsavoury past, Gunther is convinced that the shooting of an American Nazi-hunter is one crime he didn't commit. Gradually, Gunther discovers that Vienna is a mistress of hypocrisy, her smug facades masking the lethal duplicity of another war. Communism is the Americans' new enemy, and with the Nuremberg trials over, some strange alliances are being forged against the Red Menace - alignments that make many wartime atrocities look lily-white by comparison. Vividly evoking the atmosphere of post-war Vienna, A GERMAN REQUIEM brings all Philip Kerr's pace and mordant wit to the tangle of guilt, suspicion and double-dealing that laid the foundations for the Cold War.

 

 

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(04/15/2009) The Pale Criminal: A Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr. New York. 1990. Viking Press. keywords: Mystery Germany England. 274 pages. Jacket illustration by Darren Walford. Jacket design by Todd Radom. 067082433x.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   It is September 1938: in a sweltering heat wave, the German people anxiously await the outcome of the Munich conference, wondering if the Hitler will plunge Europe into another war. Private investigator Bernhard Gunther, formerly of KRIPO - the Berlin criminal police - is hired by a rich widow to find out who is blackmailing her, an investigation in which he finds himself exploring the crankier side of modem German medicine and psychotherapy. Meanwhile, a brutal serial killer stalks the streets of Berlin, and KRIPO, embarrassed at having been caught framing an innocent Jew for the murders, is not above using a little blackmail to obtain Gunther's racially unbiased services to catch the real culprit. Boldly asking for the temporary rank of Kommissar, Gunther finds that a murder hunt for a perverted criminal soon escalates beyond all his predictions. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and unfailingly witty, THE PALE CRIMINAL is Philip Kerr's second novel. It is a powerful exploration of the occult side of Nazism and a skillful evocation of the social tensions that pervaded prewar Berlin.

 

 

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(04/12/2009) An Ark For The Next Millennium by Jose Emilio Pacheco. Austin. 1993. University Of Texas Press. Translated From The Spanish By Margaret Sayers Peden. Drawings By Francisco Toledo. keywords: Poetry Translated Mexico Latin America. 147 pages. Cover drawing by Francisco Toledo. 0292765479.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   If a picture paints a thousand words, a poem can evoke a thousand images. In this illustrated, bilingual volume of poetry, two of Mexico’s most prominent artists, poet and painter, join their words and images of animals to create a work of startling insight and beauty. Jose Emilio Pacheco, the most talented poet of his generation, often writes poems in which animals act as his alter ego, conveying his perceptions-sometimes comic, often tragic-of the human condition. His Album de zoología, of which this is the English version, gives voice to myriad creatures who inhabit land, sea, air, and even fire, Through their perceptions, the poet challenges much of what is dark in the human psyche-cruelty toward ourselves and other life forms, destruction of the fragile world that all living creatures share. Francisco Toledo, universally acknowledged as Mexico’s foremost painter, also creates ceramics, tapestries, graphics, frescoes, and sculpture. His art is erotic, exuberant, and vital-rich with figures from nature, no few of which are drawn from the Zapotec culture of his forebears. In AN ARK FOR THE NEXT MILLENNIUM, Toledo’s arresting black-and-white drawings are the visual expression of Pacheco’s wise, foolish, besieged, threatening, and threatened animals-our brothers and sisters on this imperiled planet. Texas Pan American Series. Drawings by Francisco Toledo. Contents: Fable of the Hunter ; WATER - Immortality of the Crab; Discourse on Crabs; The Well; Eye Witness; Treatise on Despair: Fish; Icognita; Equation to the First Degree, with Unknown Quantity; Elephant Seals; Octopus; Whales; The Siren; AIR - 3:05; Sparrow; Augury; The Birds; Biology of the Falcon; The Owl; The Buzzard; Investigation on the Subject of the Bat; Mosquitos; Flies; Anti-Postcard from Rio de Janeiro; Lightning Bugs; EARTH - Mirror of Enigmas: Monkeys; Baboon Babble; A Paper Tiger; Ghost; Lions; Every Time I See Elephants I Think of the Punic Wars-Especially the Battle of Zama; Forest Clearing; Dead Horse; Theme and Variations: Insects; Crickets ; Full Pardon; Work of Art; Killing Machine; Scorpions; Antomology; Let Us Now Praise Wise Ants ; Live Bait; Boar: Wild Pig; Questions about Pigs and Curses Visited upon the Aforementioned; A Hog Meeting Its God; The Toad; Conch Shell; Physiology of the Slug; Fragment of a Poem Eaten by Mice; Rattus Norvegicus; Bitching Life; Bitch on Earth; FIRE - The Salamander. Originally published as Album de zoologia, 2nd ed. , 1991 Universidad de Guadalajara/Xalli and Cuarto Menguante. Earlier versions of the poems Mirror of Enigmas: Monkeye, The Birds, and A Hog Meeting Its God appeared in Out of the Volcano, 1991, Smithsonian Institution. Originally published as Album de zoologia, 2nd ed. , 1991 Universidad de Guadalajara/Xalli and Cuarto Menguante. Earlier versions of the poems Mirror of Enigmas: Monkeye, The Birds, and A Hog Meeting Its God appeared in Out of the Volcano, 1991, Smiths.

A distinguished critic and translator of Latin American literature, Margaret Sayers Peden won the 1992 PEN Gregory Kolovakos Award. Her many publications include the recent Out of the Volcano: Portraits of Contemporary Artists. 

 

 

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(04/11/2009) Crossing The River by Caryl Phillips. New York. 1994. Knopf. keywords: Literature Caribbean Black England. 239 pages. Jacket photograph by Mike Smallcombe. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. 067940533x. January 1994.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In a vastly ambitious and intensely moving novel, the author of CAMBRIDGE creates a many-tongued chorus of the African diaspora in the complex and riveting story of a desperate father who sells his three children into slavery.

 

 

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(04/09/2009) Xala by Sembene Ousmane. New York. 1976. Lawrence Hill & Company. Translated From The French By Clive Wake. keywords: Literature Africa Black. 114 pages. 0882080679.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A biting satire about the downfall of a businessman-polygamist who assumes the role of the colonializer in French-speaking Africa. XALA is the story of a El Hadji Abdou Kader Beye, a rich businessman struck by what he believes to be a curse of impotence (‘xala’ in Wolof) on the night of his wedding to his beautiful, young third wife. El Hadji grows obsessed with removing the curse through visits to marabouts, but only after losing most of his money and reputation does he discover the source to be the beggar who lives outside his offices, whom he wronged in acquiring his fortune.

 

 

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(04/08/2009) Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene. New York. 1958. Viking Press. keywords: Literature England Havana Cuba. 220 pages.

I never looked at my vacuum cleaner in quite the same way again. The funniest Graham Greene book I had ever read.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ‘A masterly story-teller. The world he describes is very largely the world of rootless, beliefless urban man, and he describes it with compelling vividness and in terms of a fascinated loathing in which there is always an element of love entwined with the hate’ - Walter Allen in The Modern Novel Wormold, a vacuum-cleaner salesman, was short of money. His daughter had reached an expensive age — so he accepted Hawthorne’s offer of $300-plus a month and became Agent 59200/5, MI6’s man in Havana. To keep his job, he files bogus reports based on Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare and dreams up military installations from vacuum-cleaner designs. Then his stories start coming disturbingly true. ‘As comical, satirical, atmospherical an ‘entertainment’ as he has given us’ - Daily Telegraph.

 

 

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(04/07/2009) Ways Of Sunlight by Samuel Selvon. London. 1957. Macgibbon & Kee. keywords: Literature Trinidad Caribbean. 188 pages. Jacket design by Judith Spero.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here, once again, as he also did in THE LONELY LONDONERS, Samuel Selvon tells us from the inside what the West Indian is really like; how he feels about London, what he thinks about us. Writing in their own lively idiom, he captures all the spontaneity and colour of their lives; the gaiety which keeps breaking out however cramping and mean their circumstances. But the people he portrays are no mere literary cliché. Sam Selvon doesn’t pander to the popular conception of the coloured man. It is true the West Indian has an exuberant love of life which often seems to be lacking in his white neighbour, but there is another side to his nature as well, and such stories as Basement Lullaby reveal quite a different force from the one we are accustomed to. Not all the episodes in WAYS OF SUNLIGHT are about London however; several have Trinidad as their setting and show clearly the kind of conditions which have driven many West Indians to this country. Indeed the book as a whole has a wider scope and reveals a greater depth of feeling than THE LONELY LONDONERS. Even the characteristic style of the earlier book has been modified, and sometimes dispensed with altogether, where the need for a different approach has been felt. The result is a considerable variation in tune, ranging from the lyricism of My Girl and the City, which might be described as a London Rhapsody, to the restrained bitterness of the harsh little piece, Gussy and the Boss. WAYS OF SUNLIGHT marks a decided advance in Samuel Selvon’s development as a writer and firmly establishes him as the West Indian’s chief interpreter.

 

 

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(04/06/2009) Don Segundo Sombra by Ricardo Guiraldes. New York. 1935. Farrar & Rinehart. Translated From The Spanish By Harriet De Onis. Illustrations By Howard Willard. keywords: Literature Translated Argentina Latin America. 270 pages. Cover: Howard Willard.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   DON SEGUNDO SOMBRA is the great classic of the Argentine. In its vivid and haunting charm, it is reminiscent of W. H. Hudson. Yet it has masculine simplicity, and through it runs a philosophic calm, hanging even in the background of the scenes of violence and passion, as if it were the aura of the pampas themselves, a spirit born in the silence of earth and sky. DON SEGUNDO SOMBRA is the story of a gaucho in the prairie hinterlands of the Argentine. With a vast freshness of imagery and characterization, there is detailed the unmolested wildness of the country, of the animals which roam its plains and of the wandering cowmen whose quiet strength is personified in the figure of Don Segundo. His story is told by an urchin whom he attracts, befriends and raises to the saddle. They ride through the country from one job to another, - through a bright procession of adventures, through fiestas, brawls, round-ups and dances. The life is hard but eternally free and its fascination is as poignant and as inescapable as that of the sea. ‘Strange as it may, DON SEGUNDO SOMBRA occupies in Argentinian letters a place not unrelated to that of HUCKLEBERRY FINN in ours. It, too, is the history of a boy, a waif who ‘on his own’ wanders through the country. And that country, in both books, is the frontier - an old America that had already almost vanished when the two books were written. Both tell an exciting story of adventure from the standpoint of a boy, in the boy’s own language; and both lads are typical products of their respective worlds. But the books are a great deal more than good adventure stories, being classic pictures of the traditions and ideas, the institutions, and the folk of the two countries.’ - From the introduction by Waldo Frank.

 

 

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(04/05/2009) The Bass Saxophone by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 1979. Knopf. Translated From The Czech By Kaca Polackova-Henley. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe. 212 pages. Front-of-jacket illustration by G. Freschet. 0394502671. January 1979.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The two haunting, poetic novellas that comprise THE BASS SAXOPHONE brilliantly evoke the comedy and sadness of life under the Nazi and Soviet dictatorships. They are prefaced by a remarkable memoir of Skvorecky's jazz-obsessed youth. Jazz is a symbol of freedom in both these novellas. In EMOKE, which is set in the shadow of the Communist regime, jazz becomes the means by which a jaded young man plots the seduction of a mysterious girl enmeshed in superstition and the occult. Spurned, but fascinated, he is drawn into her tortured existence until catapulted into the final bitter comedy. In THE BASS SAXOPHONE a young Czechoslovakian student living under the rule of the Nazis is lured by his love of jazz - the ‘forbidden music’ - into secretly and dangerously playing in a German band, with bizarre and unexpected results. Written with the lyrical intensity of a great jazz performance, these two extraordinary novellas are among Skvorecky's finest works. The two haunting, poetic novellas that comprise THE BASS SAXOPHONE brilliantly evoke the comedy and sadness of life under the Nazi and Soviet dictatorships. They are prefaced by a remarkable memoir of Skvorecky's jazz-obsessed youth. Jazz is a symbol of freedom in both these novellas. In EMOKE, which is set in the shadow of the Communist regime, jazz becomes the means by which a jaded young man plots the seduction of a mysterious girl enmeshed in superstition and the occult. Spurned, but fascinated, he is drawn into her tortured existence until catapulted into the final bitter comedy. In THE BASS SAXOPHONE a young Czechoslovakian student living under the rule of the Nazis is lured by his love of jazz - the ‘forbidden music’ - into secretly and dangerously playing in a German band, with bizarre and unexpected results. Written with the lyrical intensity of a great jazz performance, these two extraordinary novellas are among Skvorecky's finest works.

 

 

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(04/04/2009) Deliver Me From Dallas. Tucson. 2001. Dennis McMillan Publications. Originally Published As A Fawcett Gold Medal Paperback Original in 1961 Sporting The Name Of Franklin W. Sanders As The Sole Author. keywords: Mystery Dallas Texas America Pulp. 0939767384.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Although an earlier version was first published as Whip Hand by W. Franklin Sanders in 1961, the publisher declares this to be the original Deliver Me from Dallas!, for which the late Charles Willeford (Shark-Infested Custard, the Hoke Moseley series, etc.) deserves full credit. (Confused? All is explained in Jesse Sublett’s introduction.) Ex-cop Bill Brown flees L.A. for Dallas, where he runs into all manner of trouble, including some murderous hillbilly kidnappers and a woman who wields a mean bullwhip. This hardboiled yarn is remarkably well constructed and should find an enthusiastic audience among aficionados of Jim Thompson and the like. - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.

 

 

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(04/03/2009) The Labyrinthine Ways by Graham Greene. New York. 1940. Viking Press. keywords: Literature England Mexico Latin America.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The novel tells the story of a Roman Catholic priest in the state of Tabasco in Mexico during the 1930s, a time when the Mexican government, still effectively controlled by Plutarco Elías Calles, strove to suppress the Catholic Church. The persecution was especially severe in the province of Tabasco, where the anti-clerical governor Tomás Garrido Canabal had founded and actively encouraged ‘fascist‘ paramilitary groups and succeeded in closing all the churches in the state; forcing the priests to marry and give up their gowns, making a hitherto conservative and staid state a model of revolutionary sterility and oppression. During this vicious persecution of the clergy in Mexico, a worldly priest, the ‘whisky priest,’ is on the run. With the police closing in, his routes of escape are being shut off, his chances getting fewer. But compassion and humanity force him along the road to his destiny, reluctant to abandon those who need him.

 

 

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(04/01/2009) The Shrouded Woman by Maria-Luisa Bombal. New York. 1948. Farrar Straus & Company. keywords: Literature Translated Chile Latin America Women. 198 pages. Cover: Stefan Salter.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   As night was beginning to fall, slowly her eyes opened. Oh, a little, just a little, It was as if, hidden behind her long lashes, she was trying to see. ’ ‘And in the glow of the tall candles, those who were keeping watch leaned forward to observe the clarity and transparency in that narrow fringe of pupil death had failed to slim. With wonder and reverence, they leaned forward, tin- aware that she could see them, ‘For she was seeing, she was feeling. ‘ In the same delicately haunting style she used in HOUSE OF MIST, Maria-Luisa Bombal tells the story of a beautiful and violent woman, who sees clearly, only after death, the intricate pattern which her passing made in the lives of those who were close to her, The spell of the mists and shadows of Chile and of the colorful people of that strange and romantic country is woven compellingly to create a tale as vivid as a dream.

Maria-Luisa Bombal was born in Chile in 1910 and educated in France. At twenty she wrote articles for Chilean literary reviews, In 1988 she went to live in the Argentine, where her first book, LA ULTIMA NIEBLA, was published in 1934. She returned to Chile in 1941 and was awarded the Grand Prix de Rqpan of Santiago for her second novel, LA AMORTAJADA. Her first English novel, HOUSE OF MIST, was published in 1947 by Farrar, Straus. She represented Chile in the International Congress of Pen Clubs at the World’s Fair in 1938, and in 1942 she came here again on a mission to the Library of Congress for the Bibliotheque Nationale. In 1943 she was married to Pal ‘de Saint-Phalle. They have one daughter.

 

 

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(03/30/2009) The Pencil Of God by Philippe Thoby-Marcelin & Pierre Marcelin. Boston. 1951. Houghton Mifflin. Translated From The French By Leonard Thomas. keywords: Literature Translated Haiti Caribbean Black. 204 pages. Cover: Anne Marie Jauss.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   In their latest novel, THE PENCIL OF GOD, the Marcelin brothers strike a new note. The first novel, CANAPÊ VERT, was awarded the prize by John Dos Passos in the Latin-American contest. OF CANAPÉ VERT and THE BEAST OF THE HAITIAN HILLS, Waldo Frank has said: ‘The novels of the Marcelins capture the profound rhythms of Haitian life, and reveal both the folkloric roots and the social actuality of a dramatic unique people. ’ With the Haitian exposition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their liberation, the spotlight is on Haiti. The Marcelins emerge more clearly than ever as the eloquent representatives of a literature which has at last come into its own. THE PENCIL OF GOD writes hard and fast when it writes; and the Haitians it say the pencil of God has no eraser. This is a novel of the strange half-lit world which exists in Haiti between the church and voodoo, and of a simple devout man, Diogene Cyprien, a small warehouse owner, whose weakness is an everlasting and virile love of the ladies. In his last fling, the very dissimulation and craftiness which he has used to attain his heart’s desire is boomeranged back to him by his love’s old female relatives, who place a voodoo curse on him. His life becomes a series of freak disasters - tongues clack in the provincial, small-town atmosphere of Saint-Marc. The gossip that he is a werewolf, a fiend, a consort of evil spirits, at first a whisper, becomes a deafening roar. Like a swimmer pulled by the tide between the sharks and the reefs, Diogene is pulled between the church and voodoo. The curse is the curse of gossip and suspicion, which can be as effective in Boston or New York or anywhere else as it is in Haiti. THE PENCIL OF GOD is not an explanation of why Haitians believe in voodoo or why it works, but of the subtle suggestive process of how. In THE PENCIL OF GOD the Marcelin brothers present that society halfway between Paris and Africa, half civilized and half primitive. Edmund Wilson has said: ‘They have an interest and importance something like that of Silone.’

It is not unusual in Haiti for a son to prefix his mother’s maiden name to his surname, and Philippe Thoby-Marcelin has availed himself of this custom, while his brother, Pierre Marcelin, has not. Both, however, were born of the same parents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the heirs to a family literary tradition. Their maternal grandfather, Armand Thoby, attained eminence as a Haitian author as did an uncle, Perceval Thoby, who specialized in political writings. Their father, Emile Marcelin, in addition to having a political career which culminated in the posts of Minister of Finance and Haitian Minister to Cuba, was a novelist and literary critic. Their formal education was entrusted to the Catholic clergy of Haiti’s novels of Haiti’s private schools while their informal education was accomplished - at least in part - by the writers and political leaders who made the Marcelin home in Port-au-Prince a gathering place. Their paternal grandmother, Heloise Marcelin, the foremost pianist of her time, exerted an influence on their artistic education. Philippe Thoby-Marcelin has borne the responsibility for much of Haiti’s renaissance in the arts and was a leader in the avant-garde literary movement there. As a member of the group which centered around ‘La Revue Indigène’ he took a strong stand against the imitation of French writing which has been the custom with his literary forebears. The tenets of this circle were frankly nationalistic and stemmed from the belief that their cultural heritage was the strongest weapon against any deleterious influences from the United States by writing as Haitians, speaking the language of their own people and their own times, they strove to encourage a respect for values native to Haitians and to all black peoples. ‘We were called - with a certain good humor to be sure - these young messieurs of La Revue Indigeste’ ,’ says Mr. Thoby-Marcelin. ‘We were very unjust toward our elders whom we accused of having failed at everything, particularly in guarding our country’s independence. We did not take the obstacles into account and we failed to see that after all they had advanced, that in many ways they had prepared the way for us.'

 

 

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(03/27/2009) Sideswipe by Charles Willeford. New York. 1987. St Martin's Press. keywords: Mystery America Pulp. 293 pages. Jacket design by Walter Harper. 0312001886.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Hoke Moseley, the leisure-suited Miami homicide detective introduced in MIAMI BLUES and NEW HOPE FOR THE DEAD, finally shows the world around him what a real ‘burned out’ cop does - he stops working, stops talking, stops thinking. and sits unseeing in his chair with a complete crime-induced breakdown of the highest order. In another part of the state: Career criminal Troy Louden - amoral, alias many other names, and reminiscent of certain reptiles - has arrived to upset the balance of nature on the city streets of south Florida. SIDESWIPE, like its predecessors, is distinguished by Hoke Moseley's utterly original way of doing business on his beat, and by a blithe and pitiless killer as fascinating as any antagonist in police fiction. Here two sets of lives that should have absolutely nothing to do with each other collide in a spectacular and violent supermarket robbery that shouldn't have happened, but did. Syncopated by Charles Willeford's unpredictable dark humor, pulsating with street talk and street violence, SIDESWIPE careens through a multiethnic, tropical antiparadise that is, writes the Miami Herald, ‘neither the Oz/ Miami of the travel posters nor the Inferno/ Miami of the media, but a full-color map of a place where some people actually live. ’ Entertaining, gruesome, surprising, convincing - this impressive novel is everything to be hoped of a new addition to the popular Hoke Moseley crime canon.

CHARLES W1LLEFORD is the author of MIAMI BLUES, NEW HOPE FOR THE DEAD, and ten other novels, including THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY and COCKFIGHTER.

 

 

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(03/23/2009) A Hammock Beneath The Mangoes: Stories From Latin America edited by Thomas Colchie. New York. 1991. Dutton. keywords: Literature Translated Latin America Anthology. 434 pages. Jacket illustration by Cathleen Toekle. 0525933670. November 1991.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This splendid collection of stories by 26 Latin American authors features the new voices and celebrated masters of one of the world’s foremost literatures. Included are Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rosario Ferre, Juan Carlos Onetti, Manuel Puig, Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro, and others. From the erotic comedies by Isabel Allende and Jorge Amado to the playful labyrinths of Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s London streets or Armonia Somers’ roomful of clocks. A HAMMOCK BENEATH THE MANGOES offers abundant reading pleasure for those simply curious about, or already captivated by the magic of Latin America’s fiction. Organized geographically, this innovative anthology includes a number of stories never before published in English, and captures the extraordinary variety of themes and styles embodying that peculiarly Latin American vision of the world. Also included are short biographies of the authors that place their works in context. Explores the gothic sexual ambiguities of Carlos Fuentes’ ‘The Doll Queen’, the psychological compression of Clarice Lispector’s ‘Love’, or the baroque pyrotechnics of Machado de Assis and Adofo Bioy Casares. Discover the parodically ‘hard-boiled’ detective fiction of Ana Lydia Vega and some decidedly ‘soft-boiled’ criminals in Rubem Fonseca’s ‘Lonelyhearts’. From Horacio Quiroga’s ‘The Dead Man’, who is disturbingly alive, to the quintessential feat of magical realism found in Alejo Carpentier’s ‘Journey Back to the Source’. A HAMMOCK BENEATH THE MANGOES reveals the virtuosity of Latin American literature at it finest, and provides an illuminating journey into dreamlike and unexpected worlds. CONTENTS/ Introduction; 1. THE RIVER PLATE - Horacio Quiroga/ THE DEAD MAN; Julio Cortázar/ Axolotl; Armonia Somers/ WAITING FOR POLIDORO; Jorge Luis Borges/ THE CIRCULAR RUINS; Juan Carlos Onetti/ THE DOG WILL HAVE ITS DAY; Adolfo Bioy Casares/ THE IDOL; Manuel Puig/ RELATIVE HUMIDITY 95%; 2. CHILE - Isabel Allende/TOAD’S MOUTH; 3. BRAZIL - Jorge Amado/ THE MIRACLE OF THE BIRDS; Murilo Rubião/ THE EX-MAGICIAN FROM THE MINHOTA TAVERN; Clarice Lispector/ LOVE; Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis/ THE PSYCHIATRIST; Moacyr Scliar/ THE PLAGUES; Joao Guimarães Rosa/ THE THIRD BANK OF THE RIVER; Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro/ IT WAS A DIFFERENT DAY WHEN THEY KILLED THE PIG; Lygia Fagundes Telles/ THE CORSET; Rubem Fonseca/ LONELYHEARTS; Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes/ TWICE WITH HELENA; 4. MEXICO - Carlos Fuentes/ THE DOLL QUEEN; Juan Rulfo/ LUVINA; 5. THE CARIBBEAN - Rosario Ferré/ THE GIFT; Reinaldo Arenas/ BESTIAL AMONG THE FLOWERS; Ana Lydia Vega/ STORY-BOUND; Gabriel Garcia Marquez/ THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE GHOST SHIP; Guillermo Cabrera Infante/ THE PHANTOM OF THE ESSOLDO; Alejo Carpentier/ JOURNEY BACK TO THE SOURCE. Thomas Colchie is a noted translator and literary agent for writers from Latin America, Portugal, Spain, and Portuguese Africa. His translations include Manuel Puig’s KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, Marcio Souza’s EMPEROR OF THE AMAZON, and Murilo Rubiao’s THE EX-MAGICIAN AND OTHER STORIES. He has co-edited THE BORZOI ANTHOLOGY OF LATIN AMERICA LITERATURE and TRAVELLING IN THE FAMILY/ SELECTED POEMS BY CARLOS DRUMMOND DE ANDRADE He has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to translate THE DEVIL IIN THE BACKLANDS by Joao Guimaraes Rosa.

 

 

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(03/22/2009) Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot. New York. 1943. Harcourt Brace & Company. keywords: Literature Poetry America. 39 pages.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   These are four long poems, in a new form described by Mr. Eliot as ‘quartets. ’. The first of the four poems is Burnt Norton, which was published as the concluding poem of Mr. Eliot’s COLLECTED POEMS, 1909-1935. Burnt Norton heralded a sequence; in due course it was followed by East Coker (1940), The Dry Salvages (1941), and Little Gidding (1943). FOUR QUARTETS presents a distinct phase of Mr. Eliot’s poetry.

 

 

 

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(03/20/2009) Fairy Tales & Fables From Weimar Days by Jack Zipes. Hanover. 1989. University Press Of New England. Illustrated By George Grosz. keywords: Germany Mythology Anthology Translated. 211 pages. 0874515017.

Political ‘fairy tales’ by progressive Weimar activists.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Deliberately transforming traditional German fairy tales and fables into utopian narratives and social commentary, political activists wrote the stories in this collection for progressive youth groups during the years of the German Weimar Republic, 1919 to 1933. Noted folklore scholar Jack Zipes has edited and translated these thirty-two tales by sixteen Weimar authors, who include such notable writers as Kurt Schwitters, Oskar Maria Graf, and Hermynia Zur Mühlen. Zipes has also provided an introduction, notes and bibliography, period illustrations, and concise biographies of the authors, many of whom were later killed, persecuted, or forced into exile by the Nazis. ‘A true masterpiece in the field of fairy tale anthologies. - [These tales] are invaluable literary, cultural, historical, and folkloristic expressions of Germany's attempt to move towards a democratic society.

Jack Zipes is professor of German at the University of Minnesota and the author or editor of some thirty books, including THE BROTHERS GRIMM: FROM ENCHANTED FORESTS TO THE MODERN WORLD; FAIRY TALES AND THE ART OF SUBVERSION; DON'T BET ON THE PRINCE; and THE FAIRY TALES OF HERMAN HESSE.

 

 

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(03/18/2009) Gargoyles by Thomas Bernhard. New York. 1970. Knopf. Translated From The German By Richard & Clara Winston. keywords: Literature Translated Germany Austria. 209 pages. Jacket illustration by Brad Holland. Jacket design by R. Scudellari.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Thomas Bernhard is a writer who has received in rapid succession three of the most coveted German literary awards. GARGOYLES is his first novel to be translated into English. In it the uncompromising vision of life associated with Kafka, Musil, Beckett is given a further twist of intensity. The landscape is Austrian-a mountainous countryside, where the local doctor is taking his son, a student mining engineer, with him on his daily rounds. In a tavern a gratuitous killing has taken place. In a cottage a mad boy-a musical prodigy-is caged up. In a dilapidated hunting lodge from which he conducts his far-flung empire, a powerful industrialist-living, incestuously perhaps, alone with his sister-works on a momentous book, tearing it up as he writes it. On the miller’s land some exotic birds have been murdered, their plumage left perfectly intact. In house after house the doctor and his son find a curious succession of solitaries and shut-ins filling their lives with feverish brooding and activity. The last of the ‘patients’ is the district’s great landowner, Prince Saurau, who walks his visitors along the ramparts of his mountaintop castle. As they look down on the valley from which they have just ascended, astonished by its beauty, they listen to the prince’s brilliantly resonant monologue: his life and his ancient domain are crumbling; indeed, his son, who will inherit everything, is sure to destroy what took centuries to create. As the prince pours out his fears and indecisions, his fascinating mixture of acute perceptions and ominous confusions, the young man in particular feels that he is witnessing the very process of a man’s mind stretching beyond its utmost and being rent asunder in an effort to accommodate an unacceptable, tortuous reality. Bernhard’s vision seems to pierce through all the sharply delineated layers of observed reality to the secret hot core of consciousness itself, casting off the dead slag of its own decay as it suffers the birth pangs of new light.

 

 

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(03/16/2009) Otherwise: Last & First Poems Of Eugenio Montale by Eugenio Montale. New York. 1984. Vintage Books. Translated from The Italian By Jonathan Galassi. keywords: Poetry Italy Literatrue Translated. 161 pages. Cover illustration - Watercolor by Roberto Bazlen Cover design - Susan Shapiro. 0394726367. September 1984.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Since Eugenio Montale was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975, his poetry has been increasingly read and discussed. He is now recognized throughout the world as one of the greatest of all modern poets, a peer of Yeats and Eliot and Stevens, of Valery and Cavafy, of Tsvetaveva and Mandelstam. OTHERWISE is a translation of Montale’s last book of poems, which appeared in Italy shortly before his death in 1981. It includes an entire new collection dating from the late seventies, in which the poet meditates with characteristic, often biting wit on the great themes always at the heart of his work: doubt and belief, death and the afterlife, and the problematic interplay between reality and our ways of perceiving it. These final notes from the ongoing poetic diary of Montale’s last years are epigrammatic, ironic, and often extremely funny. They can also be terribly poignant, particularly in the poems of memory in which Montale revisits the Mediterranean scenery of his youth, or when he re-evokes—this time in profoundly terrestrial, elegiac tones—the great mythic female presences that inspired some of his most memorable poetry. OTHERWISE also includes uncollected work from the entire span of Montale’s career. Especially notable here are the poems predating his first book, which reveal much about his early sources and themes. Jonathan Galassi, the translator, has provided an introduction, which discusses the style and concerns of Montale’s later poetry, as well as extensive notes, which comment on, among other things, the origins of his early work. Incisive, revealing, and finally moving in a way that only the last words of a man who has seen and felt deeply can be, this collection brings to a fitting close one of the extraordinary poetic careers of modern times.

 

 

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(03/15/2009) The Quiet American by Graham Greene. New York. 1956. Viking Press. keywords: Literature England. 249 pages. Jacket design by Bill English.

A classic tale of politics and betrayal set during the beginnings of America's venture into Vietnam.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

    Graham Greene’s THE QUIET AMERICAN is a study of New World hope and innocence set in an old world of violence, a modern variant on a theme which in the last century attracted Mark Twain and other writers. In all Mr. Greene’s recent serious novels, from BRIGHTON ROCK through THE END OF THE AFFAIR, a major theme was Catholicism. Now, he indicates, he has entered a new vein, starting with THE QUIET AMERICAN, where religion plays little or no part. The scene is Saigon in the violent recent years when the French were desperately trying to hold their footing in the Far East. The principal characters are a skeptical British journalist, his attractive Vietnamese mistress, and an eager young American sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission. Local intrigue, a night in a beleaguered outpost, a perilous venture behind the Communist lines — these are ingredients of the outward story. But — as is usual with Graham Greene — the story is deeply enriched by psychological tensions and battles of conflicting personalities. If the quiet American’s motives come off less well than some American readers might wish, the author at least has not played favorites. The other nationals, including the British, are just as sharply exposed by his critical scalpel. At once a story of personal love, of physical danger, and of international rivalries, this novel will be regarded as one of Graham Greene’s major works.

 

 

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(03/14/2009) A Fan's Notes by Frederick Exley. New York. 1968. Harper & Row. keywords: Literature America. 387 pages. Cover design by James Spanfeller.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Frederick Exley had the bad luck to be the son of a fabled high school athlete in Watertown, New York - a town that takes its high school athletes seriously. Although Fred had no literal ambitions toward being an athlete, it still hurt him to realize, during the course of this book, that he was merely a fan. Obsessed with the New York Giants, Exley’s autumn weeks centered on those blessed hours when he sat in bars, drinking and watching the Giants on TV. A Giant victory would succeed, for a few hours, in justifying his misshapen life. In between football games and drinking bouts and shock treatments and insulin therapy, Exley went out into the world to play at being a normally-on-the-make young man. Unfortunately, he was just no good at the game; each adventure in public relations or door-to-door selling made him insane again. Yet on the road from nowhere to nowhere he developed an attitude toward himself and his environment, and mastered an almost hypnotic style to describe his point of view and the wild, sometimes hilarious events in his life. For instance, there is the elderly, totally demented door-to-door salesman of aluminum siding who is prepared to drop to the ground and do fifty consecutive pushups at anybody’s request. For instance, there is the girl Exley met in Chicago who was so much the embodiment of the American man’s sexual fantasy that she totally incapacitates him. The young man’s memoir is in fashion these days, as we all know, but this book is a good deal more than that. It is a full and rich creation. A FAN’S NOTES is both a pleasure and an education; it is the high mark of Mr. Exley’s maturity as a writer that you lay the book down knowing, finally and ironically, that it is not about Exley or football at all: It is about America.

 

 

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(03/12/2009) The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem. New York. 1974. Seabury Press. Translated From The Polish By Michael Kandel. keywords: Literature Translated Poland Eastern Europe Science Fiction. 149 pages. Front cover art: Paul Klee. 'Old Man Figuring', Etching, printed in brown black. Jacket design by Ted Menten. 0816492220.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   The Eighth World Futurological Congress, held in Costa Rica, stands under anything but a lucky star, To be sure, the one hundred and six stories of the Costa Rica Hilton are stocked with provisions to answer a convention guest’s every desire and the restaurant is even better than average — a factor particularly appreciated by the world-renowned cosmonaut Ion Tichy. On the other hand, the events behind the scene in and around the hotel constitute what can only be called a scandal, The streets are swarming with revolutionaries in the throes of battle with members of the military junta, and chemical warfare is the order of the day. Swept into the fray, the visiting futurologists ultimately escape through the sewer sys- tem, pumped to the gills with the latest ‘benignimizers,’ The severely injured Tichy is rescued, treated, and finally vitrified — refrigerated in liquid nitrogen — only to awaken in the year 2039, in the era of total psychemization. Lem’s description of the future, which culminates in an apocalyptic vision, is marked above all by his exquisite gift for language — which is perfectly preserved by Michael Kandels superb translation, His vocabulary for the future includes more than 100 new expressions—linguistically sound derivations that are as beautifully plausible as they are funny. At the same time, Lem offers his satirical vision of a linguistically oriented futurology.

About the translator: Michael Kandel received his BA., MA. and Ph. D. from Indiana University, He has taught Russia language and literature and Slavic literature at George Washington University He is now at work on a translation of Lem’s THE STAR DIARIES, and has received a foundation grant to write a study of Lem and his work, George Scheper has called his translation of Lem’s THE CYBERIAD ‘brilliant,’ and Maurice Dolbier writing in Views and Reviews says, ‘A feeling of awe is present for the work of translator Michael Kandel, whose task could be compared to translating James Joyce and S. J. Perelman into Polish.'

 

 

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(03/11/2009) Rosa At Ten O'clock by Marco Denevi. New York. 1964. Holt Rinehart Winston. Translated From The Spanish By Donald A. Yates. The Kraft Prize novel. keywords: Literature Translated Argentina Latin America. 191 pages. Cover: Ben Feder. October 1964.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A prize-winning novel in Latin America, this haunting tale of reality and unreality is the ingenious account of an in- credible, mystifying romance as seen through the eyes of four of the people involved. Written by a master of spellbinding narration, the story immediately projects an atmosphere of foreboding which intensifies, as the action progresses, to an almost unbearable suspense. Set in a boardinghouse in Buenos Aires, the tale is first taken up by the proprietress, Mrs. Milagros, who recalls, for the police, her first encounter with the boarder, Camilo Canegato, a painfully shy, self-effacing middle-aged man. Ostensibly a portrait painter, Camilo becomes the unfortunate object of the other boarders’ humor, until one day, mysteriously perfumed letters addressed to him in a feminine hand begin to arrive. When it is learned that these letters come from a beautiful, well-born young woman called Rosa, the curiosity of the entire household is aroused. As Mrs. Milagros continues her recital of the bizarre events which develop from this amazing correspondence, the reader finds himself hurrying along a path he knows will end in violence. When his guide changes from the hearty, meddlesome Mrs. Milagros to the young lawyer, David Réguel, the scenery on this same path seems transformed suddenly, as if seen now through Réguel’s sharp, Freudian gaze. Camilo himself, as the third narrator, brings to the tale a further perspective on reality, but it is only with the final testimony of the prying spinster, Eufrasia Morales, that the astonishing facts behind this fantastic affair are revealed. As Marco Denevi skillfully uncovers the hidden identities and surprising motivations of his characters, he brilliantly illuminates the strange power of loneliness and love. Artfully translated by Donald A. Yates, ROSA AT TEN 0 CLOCK will continue to stir the reader’s emotions long after the last word has been read.

Marco Denevi is an Argentinean who has written several novels. Rosaura a Las Diez, as this novel was titled in Spanish, won the Kraft Prize Novel Award and has been made into a motion picture. Mr. Denevi is also represented in Prize Stories From Latin America with the first-prize-winning ‘SECRET CEREMONY’ which Virginia Kirkus called ‘the best story in the collection,’ and Haskel Frankel of the Saturday Review found ‘fascinating and sinister to follow.’

 

 

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(03/10/2009) War With The Newts by Karel Capek. New York. 1937. Putnam's. Translated From The Czech By M. & R. Weatherall. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe Travel. 348 pages.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Originally written in 1936, two years before Capek’s death and three years before the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, War with the Newts is considered by many to be Capek’s greatest book. Working in the ‘fantastic’ satiric tradition of Wells, Orwell, and Vonnegut, Capek chronicles the discovery of a colony of highly intelligent giant salamanders off the coast of an Indonesian island. Capek sardonically details all the reactions of the civilized world - from horror to skepticism, from intellectual fascination to mercantile opportunism - and the ultimate destruction from which it might not escape.

 

 

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(03/09/2009) The Invention Of Africa by V. Y. Mudimbe. Bloomington. 1988. Indiana University Press. keywords: Literature Zaire Africa Black Translated. 241 pages. 0253331269.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Winner of the 1989 Herskovits Award and named one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century by the Zimbabwe International Book Fair. In this unique and provocative book, Zairean philosopher and writer V. Y. Mudimbe addresses the multiple scholarly discourses that exist - African and non-African - concerning the meaning of Africa and being African.

 

 

 

 

 

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(03/08/2009) Question Of Power by Bessie Head. New York. 1974. Pantheon Books. keywords: Literature South Africa Women Black. 206 pages. Jacket illustration by Kurt Vargo. 0394491556. April 1974.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   It is never clear to Elizabeth whether the mission school principal’s cruel revelation of her origins is at the bottom of her mental breakdown.

 

 

 

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(03/07/2009) The Swell Season by Josef Skvorecky. Toronto. 1982. Lester & Orpen Dennys. Translated From The Czech By Paul Wilson. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe. 226 pages. Jacket illustration by Buddy Beiderbecke. Jacket photo: merrin Associates. 088619038x.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Josef Skvorecky’s THE BASS SAXOPHONE was hailed as ‘poignant, satirical, funny,’ and ‘the finest fiction ever written about jazz,’ ; it was named Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review and Book of the Year by The Guardian. Now, in the six tales of THE SWELL SEASON, Skvorecky traces the libidinous ardours of young Danny, a teenager growing up in the forties. Danny boasts of his ‘conquests’ with fine bravado, and longs to turn his fantasies into reality; but no matter how smoothly he woos, it seems he is always to be foiled. Golden-haired Marie, brown-eyed Irena, bewitching Karla-Marie - Danny is rejected by them all. Fortunately his elusive love life is balanced by his friendship with ‘the guys’, who share his physical yearnings and - perhaps more important - his consuming passion for jazz. These are wonderful tales, full of wry humour and unexpected plot twists, and they add up to a fond portrait of a seemingly more innocent era. But this is more than entertaining nostalgia - for Danny’s home is in wartime Czechoslovakia, and his fragile world of adolescent schemes exists under the shadow of the ruthless Nazi presence.
 

Josef Skvorecky was Professor of English at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He emigrated to Canada after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and he and his wife, novelist Zdena Salivarova, continue to keep Czech literature alive through their Czech- language publishing house, 68 Publishers. Skvorecky’s novels include The Cowards and Miss Silver’s Past, and the internationally acclaimed THE BASS SAXOPHONE. He has also written many short stories and film scripts, and is the winner of the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Paul Wilson moved to Czechoslovakia in 1967 and spent ten years working as a translator and English teacher, and playing in an underground rock band, before he was expelled for his activities. His translations include many novels and essays, by such writers as Vaclav Havel and Ladislav Klima.

 

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(03/05/2009) Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo. New York. 1959. Grove Press. Translated From The Spanish By Lysander Kemp. keywords: Literature Translated Mexico Latin America. 123 pages. Jacket Design by Roy Kuhlman.  Original title: Pedro paramo.

PEDRO PARAMO was published in four editions - A paperback Evergreen Book ; A cloth bound edition; A specially bound and signed edition of 26 copies, lettered A to Z. Scarce in its hardcover edition.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   This first novel by a new Mexican writer is unlike anything in contemporary fiction. Juan Rulfo, the author of this book that has already been translated and published in several European languages, is considered in Mexico to be the nation’s most promising writer. This story is set in the primitive village life of the harsh, Mexican mountain world. Pedro Paramo is a powerful land owner who dominates the world of Media Luna like a feudal lord, Lascivious, cruel, destructive, he is the incarnation of the most essential forces of life: hate, love, and power. lie evokes the holiness and dark side of life that exalts and destroys his tenants. Paramo tyrannizes the local villagers at will, yet he himself is the victim of an overwhelming love that becomes his torment. Rulfo takes the reader through the normal barriers of existence into a world that is deathless because it is already dead, The life of the village is no longer a dull progression of calendar events, It is an amazing montage of the living and dead: people emerge with the intense and unique quality of the figures that accosted Dante in the Inferno. Through his unique suspension of time, Rulfo creates a new vision of human experience. His mystic quality of intense perception illuminates a people and the land that is part of its bloodstream.

  

 

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