Written by: Antonio Tabucchi (Indian Nocturne, Requiem, Pereira Declares)
Release date: May 14
Why it's a great book: Italian writer and scholar Antonio Tabucchi specialized in the study of Portuguese literature, especially the work of Fernando Pessoa. His prose proves it, buried as it is in saudade, the feeling of deep longing, pervasive melancholy, and aching nostalgia at the absence of something loved profoundly and now lost. (Saudade is particularly characteristic of fado, a form of Portuguese music Tabucchi writes of here in "The Woman of Porto Pim," a story that includes an eel fisherman, a murderer, and a fado singer who are all, of course, the same person.) Tabucchi's stories -- translated from Italian by Martha Cooley, Frances Frenaye, Elizabeth Harris, Tim Parks, Antonio Romani, and Janice M. Thresher, and published posthumously -- drip with this longing and, too, with a dreamlike quality that is tempting to characterize as magic realism. In these stories, the world as we know it and its author's "shadow world" are often indistinguishable -- to the reader's great benefit.
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