Martin Preib is an officer in the Chicago Police Department—a beat cop whose first assignment as a rookie policeman was working on the wagon that picks up the dead. Inspired by Preib’s daily life on the job, The Wagon and Other Stories from the City chronicles the outer and inner lives of both a Chicago cop and the city itself.
The book follows Preib as he transports body bags, forges an unlikely connection with his female partner, trains a younger officer, and finds himself among people long forgotten—or rendered invisible—by the rest of society. Preib recounts how he navigates the tenuous labyrinths of race and class in the urban metropolis, such as a domestic disturbance call involving a gang member and his abused girlfriend or a run-in with a group of drunk yuppies. As he encounters the real and imagined geographies of Chicago, the city reveals itself to be not just a backdrop, but a central force in his narrative of life and death. Preib’s accounts, all told in his breathtaking prose, come alive in ways that readers will long remember.
In the title story, in a Cape Town shantytown called District Six in the 1960s, Michael Adonis has lost his job at a metal sheet factory after an argument with a white supervisor. Illuminating the toxic effects of poverty, police brutality, and violence, the book paints a stark and unforgettable portrait of Adonis's emotional and physical destruction in apartheid South Africa. These works reveal the plight of non-whites in apartheid South Africa, laying bare the lives of the poor and the outcasts who filled the ghettoes and shantytowns.
Of French and Malagasy stock, involved in South African politics from an early age, Alex La Guma was arrested for treason with 155 others in 1956 and finally acquitted in 1960. During the State of Emergency following the Sharpeville massacre he was detained for five months. Continuing to write, he endured house arrest and solitary confinement. La Guma left South Africa as a refugee in 1966 and lived in exile in London and Havana. He died in 1986. A Walk in the Night and Other Stories reveals La Guma as one of the most important African writers of his time.
In "The War of the Fatties," a campy, tongue-in-cheek retelling of an episode from the Mexican "Trojan War," naked fat women from Tlatelolco discombobulate Tenochtitlan’s invading army by squirting them with breast milk. Told with satiric allusions to the policies and tactics used by Mexico’s current ruling party, PRI, to consolidate its power, the play unfolds a history of vain rivalry and decadence, intricate political maneuvers, corruption, and unchecked ambition that determined the course of Mexican history for two centuries before the Spanish conquest. Novo’s other works in this collection—"A Few Aspects of Sex among the Nahuas," "Ahuítzotl and the Magic Water," "Cuauhtémoc: Play in One Act," "Cuauhtémoc and Eulalia: A Dialogue," "Malinche and Carlota: A Dialogue," and "In Ticitézcatl or The Enchanted Mirror: Opera in Two Acts"—represent nearly all of his Aztec-related writings. Taken together, they provide a delightful introduction to Novo’s later works and a light-hearted, historically accurate introduction to Aztec culture. The text is supplemented by a glossary of Nahuatl terms, notes on the historical characters, and an introduction that provides historical background and places Novo’s works within their cultural context.
This edition of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s collection of short stories—which includes “Hook,” Clark’s most renowned story—makes these pieces available again to a new generation of readers.
Critic John R. Milton once said that Walter Van Tilburg Clark "did perhaps more than anyone else to define (in his fiction) the mode of perception, the acquisition of knowledge, and the style which we tend to call Western." In 1950, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of the acclaimed novel The Ox-Bow Incident, published a collection of short stories that had already won distinction in various national magazines. The collection was well received by reviewers, and subsequent critics have noted that these stories reflect both Clark’s literary power and the major concerns of his novels: the interior and intuitive complexities of good and evil, and the fragile, intricate web that connects humankind to the rest of the natural world.
A foreword by Ann Ronald, one of the West’s most astute literary critics, sets the stories into the context of Clark’s oeuvre and illuminates the way they reveal crucial characteristics of this writer’s imagination.
In this thought-provoking collection, Sri Lankan immigrants grapple with events that challenge perspectives and alter lives. A volunteer faces memories of wartime violence when she meets a cantankerous old lady on a Meals on Wheels route. A lonely widow obsessed with an impending apocalypse meets an oddly inspiring man. A maidservant challenges class divisions when she becomes an American professor’s wife. An angry tenant fights suspicion when her landlord is burgled. Hardened inmates challenge a young jail psychiatrist’s competence. A father wonders whether to expose his young son’s bully at a basketball game. A student facing poverty courts a benefactor. And in the depths of an isolated Wyoming winter, a woman tries to resist a con artist. These and other tales explore the immigrant experience with a piercing authenticity.
What Remains collects Christa Wolf's short fiction, from early work in the sixties to the widely debated title story, first published in Germany in 1990. Addressing a wide range of topics, from sexual politics to the nature of memory, these powerful and often very personal stories offer a fascinating introduction to Wolf's work. What Remains and Other Stories . . . is clear and farsighted. The eight heartfelt stories in the book show why she has been respected as a serious author since her 1968 novel, The Quest for Christa T. . . . Wolf uses her own experiences and observations to create universal themes about the controls upon human freedom.—Herbert Mitgang, New York Times
Christa Wolf has set herself nothing less than the task of exploring what it is to be a conscious human being alive in a moment of history.—Mary Gordon, New York Times Book Review
The simultaneous publication of these two volumes offers readers here a generous sampling of the short fiction, speeches and essays that Wolf has produced over the last three decades.—Mark Harman, Boston Globe
Walid Ikhlassi evokes the individual’s struggle for dignity and significance in the Syrian city of Aleppo during the French mandate of the forties and fifties. His characters’ seeking of personal fulfillment parallels the struggle of the nation for self-definition. The changing political and cultural landscape of Syria challenges individuals in their attempts to live lives of integrity, as Ikhlassi provides analytical insights into the civil society of Syria, the axis of his writing. From the boy Antara who personifies the Arab legend of a half-African slave warrior/hero to everyday middle-aged lovers, Ikhlassi’s characters fight colonial oppression and corruption from the newly formed government. Foreign and internal forces challenge the evolution of a modern nation rooted in traditional Arab values. Its strong and determined men and women refuse to accept victimhood. The introduction by author and critic Elizabeth Warnock Fernea places the stories in their historical and literary context. An avowed experimentalist, Ikhlassi portrays the modern human situation through techniques as widely divergent as realism, surrealism, interior monologue, and stream-of-consciousness. Selections of his work have been translated into English, Russian, French, German, Dutch, Armenian, and other languages.
This is a book for both young and old lovers of folklore. Why Monkeys Live in Trees and Other Stories from Benin is a rich tapestry of oral tales that come from a wide range of Beninese ethnic groups. They include trickster tales and sacred tales involving the greatest and meanest of mankind, as well as nature and the world of spirits. These ageless tales remind us of the power of love, the perils of greed and pride, and the redemptive virtues of courage, humility, and kindness.
The Western African Republic of Benin (formerly Dahomey) is gifted with a great folktale tradition, one of the richest in the world. As pieces of oral literature and cultural history, these tales shed light on some of the values and beliefs as well as the customs and traditions of the people of Benin.
In this collection of seven short stories, Moira Crone presents fresh writings about women, love, and strength. "Kudzu" is a tale of a girl's childhood in the stranglehold of American life. "The Brooklyn Lie" deals with a young woman's sexuality and body. The title story explores relationships and women's issues through a series of letters and narratives.
In these seventeen stories by one of Brazil's foremost living authors, Fonseca introduces readers—with unsurpassed candor and keenness of observation—to a kaleidoscopic, often disturbing world. A hunchback sets his lascivious sights on seducing a beautiful woman. A wealthy businessman hires a ghost writer, with unexpected results. A family of modern-day urban cannibals celebrates a bizarre rite of passage. A man roams the nocturnal streets of Rio de Janeiro in search of meaning. A male ex-police reporter writes an advice column under a female pseudonym. A prosperous entrepreneur picks up a beautiful girl in his Mercedes only to discover his costly mistake. A loser elaborates a lethal plan to become, in his mind, a winner.
Written during the final stages of the Indian Independence movement, between the gloom and angst of the interwar period and at the cusp of the beginning of modern India, Bhuwaneshwar’s short stories both capture the melancholy of the time and ask what it means to be human in an indifferent and amoral world. These stories are truly an event in the history of modern Hindi literature—his work marks a complete break from the neo-romanticism and mysticism of his predecessors and contemporaries and establishes him as the definitive founder of the modern Hindi short story. His stories are populated with lonely characters from all walks of life: doctors, students, nomadic communities, acrobats, single mothers, soldiers returning from war, neglected children, and more. They are people living on the margins, introspecting their own anxieties and existence in an increasingly uncertain world set in places as far apart as hill stations, anonymous Indian villages, highways, railway compartments, and small towns in France.
This new collection includes all of Bhuwaneshwar’s twelve published short stories, none of which have been translated into English before now. Cinematic and peerless, these tales combine images, sketches, sounds, fragments, dialogues, and frame-narrative techniques of Indian folktales, ultimately creating a montage of modern Indian psyche not found in any other work of Hindi literature. Nearly a century old, Bhuwaneshwar’s stories read like they were written in modern day, dealing with questions and anxieties that continue to haunt and reappear, much like his iconic wolves, in the twenty-first century.
A collection of short stories by Czech women from the turn of the twentieth century.
A World Apart brings together translations of eight stories by Czech women from the turn of the twentieth century—a period of female political emancipation and impressive literary development in Czechoslovakia. Though they’re little known to an English-language public today, all of the writers featured in the book were recognized in their own day and constitute a cross-section of the literary styles of the period. Anna Maria Tilschová’s “A Sad Time” is written in a naturalist style, while Růžena Jesenská’s “A World Apart” presents themes and motifs that appealed to the Decadents. Helena Malířová’s “The Sylph” is both diaristic and satirical, whereas Růžena Svobodová’s ironical “A Great Passion,” with its rural setting and folklore motifs, calls to mind the writings of Karel Jaromír Erben. Gabriela Preissová’s short story “Eva” may be read as a celebration of folk culture, and Božena Benešová’s “Friends” is interesting for its psychological presentation of a child’s point of view and its implicit criticism of anti-Semitism. The book is accompanied by the biographies of each author and an introduction by editor and translator Kathleen Hayes.
In many places around the world, flutes and the sounds of flutes are powerful magical forces for seduction and love, protection, vegetal and human fertility, birth and death, and other aspects of human and nonhuman behavior. This book explores the cultural significance of flutes, flute playing, and flute players from around the world as interpreted from folktales, myths, and other stories--in a word, ""flutelore."" A scholarly yet readable study, World Flutelore: Folktales, Myths, and Other Stories of Magical Flute Power draws upon a range of sources in folklore, anthropology, ethnomusicology, and literary analysis.
Describing and interpreting many examples of flutes as they are found in mythology, poetry, lyrics, and other narrative and literary sources from around the world, veteran ethnomusicologist Dale Olsen seeks to determine what is singularly distinct or unique about flutes, flute playing, and flute players in a global context. He shows how and why flutes are important for personal, communal, religious, spiritual, and secular expression and even, perhaps, existence. This is a book for students, scholars, and any reader interested in the cultural power of flutes.