Each of the realistic worlds Billy Kahora brings us in the short stories and novella that make up The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories explores the tensions and transitions of characters moving between youthful folly and a precarious adulthood. In the title story, immigrant workers with varying ambitions work at a Wendy’s in wintry Cape Cod. Sharing one house, they must also share, or rather compete for, bicycles—crucial transportation—which are in short supply.
In other stories, a young man caught between a broken family and political violence befriends an aged gorilla in a Nairobi zoo; a pastor struggles to come to terms with the arrest of his brother, who is suspected of terrorism; and a dissolute bank employee on a serious bender returns to work to face a review board.
The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories is Billy Kahora’s long-awaited debut collection. Stories in this volume have appeared in Granta and McSweeney’s and have been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
Casablanca and Other Stories
Edgar Brau Michigan State University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PQ7798.12.R346A2 2006 | Dewey Decimal 863.64
Edgar Brau, one of the most exciting South American writers to emerge in the past twenty years, debuts his first English-language collection with the publication of Casablanca and Other Stories. The fiction of Edgar Brau draws not only upon the rich literary heritage of his native Argentina but also upon the body of work that has now rightly been formed into a South American canon, embracing those such as Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Marquez, and Isabelle Allende. He brings a unique perspective to his narratives—narratives forged in the political and social upheaval that has been modern South America. Employing a fantasy-like aspect that goes beyond magical realism, his work is reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe in his use of atmosphere as an additional character. These short stories signal a new era, much as the publication of Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths in 1962 heralded a coming-of-age for his generation.
Translated by Donald A. Yates, Andrea Labinger, and Joanne M. Yates, this collection includes stories from two of Edgar Brau’s collections—El poema y otras historias and Tres cuentos—to bring to a fresh audience the very best new work of a major Argentinean author.
Cat in the Agraharam and Other Stories
Dilip Kumar, Translated from the Tamil by Martha Ann Selby Northwestern University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PL4758.9.T42K3713 2020 | Dewey Decimal 894.811372
This collection of stories from celebrated author Dilip Kumar offers a distinct perspective on everyday life in the South Indian cities of Coimbatore and Chennai. The stories set in the Sowcarpet neighborhood of Chennai give readers a glimpse into the orthodox world of Gujarati Vaishnavas, transplants from the northwestern region of Kutch, who find themselves living usually at odds—and occasionally in harmony—with the Tamil-speaking community.
The volume is introduced by its award-winning translator, Martha Ann Selby, who worked closely with the author. The universal appeal of these stories is rooted in their utterly truthful local specificity as they explore complex themes of abduction and restoration, humiliation and despair, and related issues of identity and wholeness. Known by Tamil readers for his description and detail, Dilip Kumar also writes with humor and a deep compassion for his characters, highlighting their strengths in the face of degradation and strife. His perspective and insight build on his own status as a northerner in this southern setting for whom Tamil is a second language—much like his characters.
This seventh volume in the "Voices from Vietnam" series introduces U. S. readers to another major figure in modern Vietnamese letters: Doan Le. Noted for her versatility of style and her originality, she writes tales that are intensely human and universal, exploring such subjects as greed, marriage, divorce, aging and human rights. For the scholar, these stories give insight into Vietnamese culture after the "renovation". For the general reader, these are stories that explore all the subtle enigmas of the human heart.
As Wayne Karlin notes in his introduction, "[She] is a master of allegory and gently complex satire...her stories can often be fantastical—Sholom Aleichem's village of Helm channeled by Kafka through Our Town—or they can be deeply personal and realistic. In both cases they grow unabashedly from the real vicissitudes of her life."
The seventeen narratives of The Common Lot and Other Stories, published in popular magazines across the United States between 1908 and 1921 and collected here for the first time, are driven by Emma Bell Miles’s singular vision of the mountain people of her home in southeastern Tennessee. That vision is shaped by her strong sense of social justice, her naturalist’s sensibility, and her insider’s perspective.
Women are at the center of these stories, and Miles deftly works a feminist sensibility beneath the plot of the title tale about a girl caught between present drudgery in her father’s house and prospective drudgery as a young wife in her own. Wry, fiery, and suffused with details of both natural and social worlds, the pieces collected here provide a particularly acute portrayal of Appalachia in the early twentieth century.
Miles’s fiction brings us a world a century in the past, but one that will easily engage twenty-first-century readers. The introduction by editor and noted Miles expert Grace Toney Edwards places Miles in the literary context of her time. Edwards highlights Miles’s quest for women’s liberation from patriarchal domination and oppressive poverty, forces against which Miles herself struggled in making a name for herself as a writer and artist. Illustrations by the author and Miles family photographs complement the stories.
Augusto Monterroso is widely known for short stories characterized by brilliant satire and wit. Yet behind scathing allusions to the weaknesses and defects of the artistic and intellectual worlds, they show his generous and expansive sense of compassion.
This book brings together for the first time in English the volumes Complete Works (and Other Stories) (Obras completas [y otros cuentos] 1959) and Perpetual Motion (Movimiento perpetuo 1972). Together, they reveal Monterroso as a foundational author of the new Latin American narrative.
“Memory, of course, is sometimes like a bucking horse, sometimes a runaway one, and one must control the reins until finally it stops, snorting with exhausted relief,” writes Natalie L. M. Petesch in her haunting new collection, The Confessions of Señora Francesca Navarro and Other Stories.
Petesch immerses readers in the lives of people caught up in the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War, which left more than five hundred thousand dead. She captures the hand-to-mouth existence on the streets of Madrid of two war orphans; an old soldier’s memories of a fallen militiawoman; the dilemma of Franco’s laundress as she seeks to duplicate a stolen religious icon she finds in his home; and a man’s struggle to find his bride among thousands of Republican refugees waiting for ships to evacuate them before Franco’s Fascists arrive to kill them.
In the title novella, an elderly woman describes to her granddaughter how the families of Franco’s officers fighting against Republican militiamen endured hunger, filth, and danger in an underground fortress. Petesch conveys the humiliating details of war through the sensibility of a cultured woman who recalls only too vividly latrines made of laundry tubs, the smell of unwashed humans, and the stench of death.
Brilliant in its imaginative power and heartbreaking in its access to the bottomless well of human tears, The Confessions of Señora Francesca Navarro and Other Stories is the work of a mature artist able to convey a particular world so vividly that we know these people as our own.
The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is Sarah Orne Jewett's most popular book. In its elegantly constructed sketches, a worldly, anonymous writer spends the summer in a tiny Maine fishing village where she hopes to find peace and solitude. As she gains the acceptance and trust of her hosts, the community's power and complexity are slowly revealed. While its episodes portray the difficulty and loneliness of rural life, they also display its dignity and strength, particularly as expressed in the bonds between women: mothers, daughters, and friends.
This centennial edition contains a facsimile of the original text, thereby restoring the novel to Jewett's own version, which had been considerably altered in other published versions, plus four related stories. Further enhancing the importance of this volume is editor Sarah Way Sherman's introduction, which includes a sketch of Jewett's life and professional development, a commentary on textual accuracy, and a discussion of the book's themes and techiques as well as its historical context.