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Valeria's Last Stand

by

Valeria's Last Stand Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"'Things were different already. And what was odd about the difference was that one couldn't tell if it was better or worse. One couldn't tell much of anything except that the world had changed and they would have to change with it.'" Eric Miles Williamson, The Los Angeles Times (read the entire Los Angeles Times review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A comic romp celebrating late-flowering love in a Hungarian village that will appeal to readers of The Guernsey Literary, Potato Peel Pie Society and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

Valeria is a whale in a puddle. She harrumphs her daily way through her backwater Hungarian village, finding equal fault with the new, the old, the foreign, and the familiar. Her decades of universal contempt have turned her into a touchstone of her little community—whatever she scorns the least must be the best, after all. But, on a day like any other, her spinster's heart is struck by an unlikely arrow: The village potter, long known and little noticed, captures her fancy, and Valeria finds herself suddenly cast in a role she never expected to play. This one deviation from character, this one loose thread, is all it takes for the delicately woven fabric of village life to unravel. And, for the first time in a long time, Valeria couldn't care less. With humor and sensitivity, author Marc Fitten delivers an unexpected and entirely inspiring first novel that will leave you begging for more.

Review:

"Life in an isolated Hungarian village is turned upside down by an unusual love affair in Fitten's promising debut. In the small hamlet of Zivatar, 68-year-old Valeria is known by all as a cantankerous woman, quick to criticize everything from the produce at the market to the mayor's lofty ambitions to lure foreign investors to the town. But a chance encounter one day with the elderly local potter—a man Valeria has known for years but never noticed—changes everything. The widower potter falls just as hard for Valeria, despite his relationship with Ibolya, the owner of the village's only tavern. Unaccustomed to being smitten, Valeria tries to maintain her normal routine, but the village is in an uproar over this unlikely love triangle. The arrival of a traveling chimney sweep intent on bilking the townspeople sends another ripple through what was once a placid village. Fitten is not always successful in balancing character development with the larger themes of power and progress, but the irascible Valeria makes such a unique heroine that readers may be willing to overlook the story's less fluid elements." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] sharp-eyed debut novel... Emulates the fablelike tone of Calvino and Marquez, adding a heaping helping of Kundera-like sex and satire." Kirkus

Review:

"In this warmly amusing first novel, true love overtakes a grumpy old woman in Hungary, and her remote village is thrown into an uproar....Enjoyable and poignant, this work is recommended." Library Journal

Synopsis:

The Hungarian village of Zivatar may be isolated, but it is not completely immune to the changes sweeping the country. The Soviets have left, and the villagers are warming to the blessings of capitalism?expensive cars, cheap women, and California fruit. It's all too much for Valeria, the village grouch. And yet, Valeria is not immune to change, either. Her routine trip to the market leads to unexpected love, and sets off a chain reaction through the entire village. A remarkably accomplished debut novel, Valeria's Last Stand contemplates love, lust, tradition, and transition with wisdom and warmth.

Synopsis:

A comic romp celebrating late-flowering love in a Hungarian village that will appeal to readers of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

Valeria is a whale in a puddle. She harrumphs her daily way through her backwater Hungarian village, finding equal fault with the new, the old, the foreign, and the familiar. Her decades of universal contempt have turned her into a touchstone of her little community—whatever she scorns the least must be the best, after all. But, on a day like any other, her spinsters heart is struck by an unlikely arrow: The village potter, long known and little noticed, captures her fancy, and Valeria finds herself suddenly cast in a role she never expected to play. This one deviation from character, this one loose thread, is all it takes for the delicately woven fabric of village life to unravel. And, for the first time in a long time, Valeria couldnt care less. With humor and sensitivity, author Marc Fitten delivers an unexpected and entirely inspiring first novel that will leave you begging for more.

About the Author

Marc Fitten was born in Brooklyn in 1974 to Panamanian parents. He spent much of the 1990s living and traveling in Europe, based in Hungary. He’s been published in Prairie Schooner, the Louisville Review, and the Hogtown Creek Review, and has published a napkin online at Esquire. Marc is a Ph.D. student at Georgia State University and received the Paul Bowles Fellowship for Fiction. He is currently the editor of the Chattahoochee Review.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596916203
Author:
Fitten, Marc
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
Villages
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Hungary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Valeria's Last Stand Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596916203 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Life in an isolated Hungarian village is turned upside down by an unusual love affair in Fitten's promising debut. In the small hamlet of Zivatar, 68-year-old Valeria is known by all as a cantankerous woman, quick to criticize everything from the produce at the market to the mayor's lofty ambitions to lure foreign investors to the town. But a chance encounter one day with the elderly local potter—a man Valeria has known for years but never noticed—changes everything. The widower potter falls just as hard for Valeria, despite his relationship with Ibolya, the owner of the village's only tavern. Unaccustomed to being smitten, Valeria tries to maintain her normal routine, but the village is in an uproar over this unlikely love triangle. The arrival of a traveling chimney sweep intent on bilking the townspeople sends another ripple through what was once a placid village. Fitten is not always successful in balancing character development with the larger themes of power and progress, but the irascible Valeria makes such a unique heroine that readers may be willing to overlook the story's less fluid elements." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "'Things were different already. And what was odd about the difference was that one couldn't tell if it was better or worse. One couldn't tell much of anything except that the world had changed and they would have to change with it.'" (read the entire Los Angeles Times review)
"Review" by , "[A] sharp-eyed debut novel... Emulates the fablelike tone of Calvino and Marquez, adding a heaping helping of Kundera-like sex and satire."
"Review" by , "In this warmly amusing first novel, true love overtakes a grumpy old woman in Hungary, and her remote village is thrown into an uproar....Enjoyable and poignant, this work is recommended."
"Synopsis" by ,
The Hungarian village of Zivatar may be isolated, but it is not completely immune to the changes sweeping the country. The Soviets have left, and the villagers are warming to the blessings of capitalism?expensive cars, cheap women, and California fruit. It's all too much for Valeria, the village grouch. And yet, Valeria is not immune to change, either. Her routine trip to the market leads to unexpected love, and sets off a chain reaction through the entire village. A remarkably accomplished debut novel, Valeria's Last Stand contemplates love, lust, tradition, and transition with wisdom and warmth.
"Synopsis" by ,
A comic romp celebrating late-flowering love in a Hungarian village that will appeal to readers of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

Valeria is a whale in a puddle. She harrumphs her daily way through her backwater Hungarian village, finding equal fault with the new, the old, the foreign, and the familiar. Her decades of universal contempt have turned her into a touchstone of her little community—whatever she scorns the least must be the best, after all. But, on a day like any other, her spinsters heart is struck by an unlikely arrow: The village potter, long known and little noticed, captures her fancy, and Valeria finds herself suddenly cast in a role she never expected to play. This one deviation from character, this one loose thread, is all it takes for the delicately woven fabric of village life to unravel. And, for the first time in a long time, Valeria couldnt care less. With humor and sensitivity, author Marc Fitten delivers an unexpected and entirely inspiring first novel that will leave you begging for more.

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