Cyrus the Lion sends the wolf Dmitri Stepanovich on a diplomatic mission, and in the course of his journey he discovers truths about natural history, war, and politics for which he was unprepared. The subsequent war that breaks out in The Abolition of Species will come to span three planets and thousands of years—encompassing treachery and massacres, music and mathematics, savagery and decadence, as well as the terraformation of Mars and Venus and the manipulation of time itself. By turns grandiose, horrific, erotic, scathing, and visionary, The Abolition of Species is a tale of love and war after the fall of man and an epic meditation on the theory of evolution unlike any other.
In contemporary Norwegian fiction Tomas Espedal’s work stands out as uniquely personal; it can be difficult to separate the fiction from Espedal’s own experiences. In that vein, his novel Against Art is not just the story of a boy growing up to be a writer, but it is also the story of writing. Specifically, it is about the profession of writing—the routines, responsibility, and obstacles. Yet, Against Art is also about being a father, a son, and a grandson; about a family and a family’s tales, and about how preceding generations mark their successors. It is at once about choices and changes, about motion and rest, about moving to a new place, and about living.
The personal history of journalist Henri Alleg is tied inextricably to the history of the French-Algerian Conflict. Best known for his book The Question, a first-hand account of his torture by French troops during the Algerian war for independence, Alleg is famous both for having brought the issue of French torture to the public eye and for his passionate work as a writer, a newspaperman, and a communist activist.
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