Ansul was once a peaceful town filled with libraries, schools, and temples. But that was long ago, and the conquerors of this coastal city consider reading and writing to be acts punishable by death. And they believe the Oracle House, where the last few undestroyed books are hidden, is seething with demons. But to seventeen-year-old Memer, the house is the only place where she feels truly safe. Then an Uplands poet named Orrec and his wife, Gry, arrive, and everything in Memer's life begins to change. Will she and the people of Ansul at last be brave enough to rebel against their oppressors?
@90@@95@ldquo;This book deals both with a transition from adolescence into youth and with a move from peace to war: as for very many other people, for the protagonist of this book @13@entry into life@12@ and @13@entry into war@12@ coincide.@95@rdquo; @95@mdash; from the Author@12@s Note@87@@16@ These three stories, set during the summer of 1940, draw on Italo Calvino@12@s memories of his own adolescence during the Second World War, too young to be forced to fight in Mussolini@12@s army but old enough to be conscripted into the Italian youth brigades. The callow narrator of these tales observes the mounting unease of a city girding itself for war, the looting of an occupied French town, and nighttime revels during a blackout. Appearing here in its first English translation, @28@Into the War@018@ is one of Calvino@12@s only works of autobiographical fiction. It offers both a glimpse of this writer@12@s extraordinary life and a distilled dram of his wry, ingenious literary voice.@87@@16@ @95@ldquo;All three stories attest to the potentially magical, transformative space of adolescence . . . The seeds of the later Calvino @95@mdash; the fabulist who worked profound moral and ethical points into his narratives @95@mdash; are all here.@95@rdquo; @95@mdash; Joseph Luzzi, @28@Times Literary Supplement@018@@91@
Paul Theroux, the author of the train travel classics The Great Railway Bazaar and The Old Patagonian Express, takes to the rails once again in this account of his epic journey through China. He hops aboard as part of a tour group in London and sets out for China's border. He then spends a year traversing the country, where he pieces together a fascinating snapshot of a unique moment in history. From the barren deserts of Xinjiang to the ice forests of Manchuria, from the dense metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing, and Canton to the dry hills of Tibet, Theroux offers an unforgettable portrait of a magnificent land and an extraordinary people.
In a breathtaking adventure story, the paranoid and brilliant inventor Allie Fox takes his family to live in the Honduran jungle, determined to build a civilization better than the one they've left. Fleeing from an America he sees as mired in materialism and conformity, he hopes to rediscover a purer life. But his utopian experiment takes a dark turn when his obsessions lead the family toward unimaginable danger. This book features a teaser chapter from Theroux's dazzling The Lower River.
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes a brutal arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of assassins - for a price. Packed with love, magic, and deadly games of courtly intrigue and treason, book one of a fast-paced YA trilogy set in 15th-century France combines romance with captivating action.
Each year for ten years, a young woman's body was found in Edinburgh at Christmastime: naked, throat slit, body washed clean. The final victim, Kirsty Summers, was Detective Constable Tony McLean's fiancée. But the Christmas Killer made a mistake, and McLean put an end to the brutal killing spree.It's now twelve years later. A fellow prisoner has just murdered the incarcerated Christmas Killer. But with the arrival of the festive season comes a body. A young woman: naked, washed, her throat cut.
Is this a copycat killer? Was the wrong man behind bars all this time? Or is there a more frightening explanation?McLean must revisit the most disturbing case of his life and discover what he missed before the killer strikes again . . .
In these seventeen robust tales Emma Donoghue vividly brings to life the strangely exhilerating sideshows of humanity lost to traditional history over the last seven hundred years. The obscure records she stumbled across--an engraving of a woman giving birth to rabbits; a plague ballad; surgical case notes; theological pamphlets; an articulated skeleton--are ingeniously expanded into rollicking, full bodied fictions. Here kings, surgeons, soldiers, and ladies of leisure rub soldiers with cross-dressers, cult leaders, pioneers, and arsonists. /> Whether she's spinning the tale of an Irish soldier tricked into marrying a dowdy spinster, a Victorian surgeon's attempts to "improve" women, a seventeenth century countess who ran away to Italy disguised as a man, or an "undead" murderess returning for the maid she left behind to be executed in her place, Emma Donoghue brings to her tales a colorful, elegant prose filled with the sights and smells and sounds of the period. She summons the ghosts of those women who counted for nothing in their own day and brings them to unforgettable life in fiction.
In this sparkling collection of nineteen stories, the bestselling author of Slammerkin returns to contemporary affairs, exposing the private dilemmas that result from some of our most public controversies. A man finds God and finally wants to father a child-only his wife is now forty-two years old. A coach's son discovers his sexuality on the football field. A roommate's bizarre;secret liberates a repressed young woman. From the unforeseen consequences of a polite social lie to the turmoil caused by the hair on a woman's chin, Donoghue dramatizes the seemingly small acts upon which our lives often turn. Many of these stories involve animals and what they mean to us, or babies and whether to have them; some replay biblical plots in modern contexts. With characters old, young, straight, gay, and simply confused, Donoghue dazzles with her range and her ability to touch lightly but delve deeply into the human condition.
Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents' rules--especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship. To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything--even Tristen's love--just for the thrill of being . . . bad.
When Abigail Thomas's husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institution. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. This wise, plainspoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail discovered in the five years since the accident: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it.
Through a Window is the dramatic saga of thirty years in the life of an intimately intertwined community--one that reads like a novel, but is one of the most important scientific works ever published.The community is Gombe, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, where the principal residents are chimpanzees and one extraordinary woman who is their student, protector, and historian.In her classic In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall wrote of her first ten years at Gombe. In Through a Window she brings the story up to the present, painting a more complete and vivid portrait of our closest relatives.We watch young Figan’s relentless rise to power and old Mike’s crushing defeat. We learn how one mother rears her children to succeed and another dooms hers to failure.We witness horrifying murders, touching moments of affection, joyous births, and wrenching deaths. In short, we see every emotion known to humans stripped to its essence. In the mirror of chimpanzee life, we see ourselves reflected.
@90@@90@A@95@#160;sci-fi murder@95@#160;mystery set on a mysterious planet, with a twist ending that leaves the reader wondering just what they@95@#8217;ve been witnessing the whole time.@91@ Delmak-O is a dangerous planet. Though there are only fourteen citizens, no one can trust anyone else and death can strike at any moment. The planet is vast and largely unexplored, populated mostly by gelatinous cube-shaped beings that give cryptic advice in the form of anagrams. Deities can be spoken to directly via a series of prayer amplifiers and transmitters, but they may not be happy about it. And the mysterious building in the distance draws all the colonists to it, but when they get there each sees a different motto on the front. The mystery of this structure and the secrets contained within drive this mind-bending novel.@91@
This satirical adventure from Philip K. Dick deals with issues of power, class, and politics, set in a world ruled by big-brained elites. But one man went to space to find help, and now he is returning with it--a giant, indestructible alien blob.
Following an inexplicable urge, Ted Barton returns to his idyllic Virginia hometown for a vacation, but when he gets there, he is shocked to discover that the town has utterly changed. The stores and houses are all different and he doesn't recognize anybody. The mystery deepens when he checks the town's historical records . . . and reads that he died nearly twenty years earlier. As he attempts to uncover the secrets of the town, Barton is drawn deeper into the puzzle, and into a supernatural battle that could decide the fate of the universe.
"A funny, horribly accurate portrait of a life in California in the Fifties."--Rolling StoneJack Isidore doesn't see the world like most people. According to his brother-in-law Charlie, he’s a crap artist, obsessed with his own bizarre theories and ideas, which he fanatically records in his many notebooks. He is so grossly unequipped for real life that his sister and brother-in-law feel compelled to rescue him from it. But while Fay and Charlie Hume put on a happy face for the world, they prove to be just as sealed off from reality, in thrall to obsessions that are slightly more acceptable than Jack's but a great deal uglier. Their constant fighting and betrayals threaten their own marriage and the relationships of everyone around them. When they bring Jack into their home, he finds himself in the middle of a maelstrom of suburban angst from which he might not be able to escape.Confessions of a Crap Artist is one of Philip K. Dick's most accomplished novels, and the only non–science fiction novel published in his lifetime.
Ragle Gumm believes he lives in the 1950s and makes his living by making accurate predictions in a newspaper contest. But when he begins having hallucinations, it appears as if his world may not be what it seems, and in the contest he may be predicting something far more consequential. Time Out of Joint is Philip K. Dick at his twisty, paranoid best.
Set in the middle of the twenty-first century, The Simulacra is the story of an America where the whole government is a fraud and the President is an android. Against this backdrop, Dr. Superb, the sole remaining psychotherapist, is struggling to practice in a world full of the maladjusted. Ian Duncan is desperately in love with the first lady, Nicole Thibideaux, who he has never met. Richard Kongrosian refuses to see anyone because he is convinced his body odor is lethal. And the fascistic Berthold Goltz is trying to overthrow the government. With wonderful aplomb, Philip K. Dick brings this story to a crashing conclusion and in classic fashion shows there is always another layer of conspiracy beneath the one we see.
The Glimmung is a mysterious alien, which looks alternately like a flaming wheel, a teenage girl, and a swirling mass of ocean life. In this hilarious Philip K. Dick novel, it recruits a disparate group of humans and aliens to help it raise a ruined temple from the bottom of the ocean.
In a richly imagined, beautiful novel, an acclaimed writer gives an epic heroine her voice.In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.
Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner--that she will be the cause of a bitter war--and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. And so she tells us what Vergil did not: the story of her life, and of the love of her life.
Lavinia is a book of passion and war, generous and austerely beautiful, from a writer working at the height of her powers.
The Left Hand of DarknessSutty, an Observer from Earth for the interstellar Ekumen, has been assigned to a new world-a world in the grips of a stern monolithic state, the Corporation. Embracing the sophisticated technology brought by other worlds and desiring to advance even faster into the future, the Akans recently outlawed the past, the old calligraphy, certain words, all ancient beliefs and ways; every citizen must now be a producer-consumer. Their state, not unlike the China of the Cultural Revolution, is one of secular terrorism. Traveling from city to small town, from loudspeakers to bleating cattle, Sutty discovers the remnants of a banned religion, a hidden culture. As she moves deeper into the countryside and the desolate mountains, she learns more about the Telling-the old faith of the Akans-and more about herself. With her intricate creation of an alien world, Ursula K. Le Guin compels us to reflect on our own recent history.
"A masterpiece."--Roberto BolañoWhat happens after the bombs drop? This is the troubling question Philip K. Dick addresses with Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb. It is the story of a world reeling from the effects of nuclear annihilation and fallout, a world where mutated humans and animals are the norm, and the scattered survivors take comfort from a disc jockey endlessly circling the globe in a broken-down satellite. And hidden amongst the survivors is Dr. Bloodmoney himself, the man responsible for it all. This bizarre cast of characters cajole, seduce, and backstab in their attempts to get ahead in what is left of the world, consequences and casualties be damned. A sort of companion to Dr. Strangelove, an unofficial and unhinged sequel, Dick’s novel is just as full of dark comedy and just as chilling.