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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi

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A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi Cover

ISBN13: 9780393064681
ISBN10: 0393064689
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"The allegorical stories here feel clever, but sometimes labored in their striving for originality, less distinctive than his substantial memoirs or than The Periodic Table and the three or four best of his poems. Though it doesn't represent Levi's major work, it completes his important library in English." Mona Simpson, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The first English publication of seventeen classic Primo Levi stories marks the twentieth anniversary of his death.

A Tranquil Star, the first new American collection of Primo Levi previously untranslated fiction to appear since 1990, affirms his position as one of the twentieth century's most enduring writers. These seventeen stories, first published in Italian between 1949 and 1986, demonstrate Levi's extraordinary range, taking the reader from the primal resistance of a captured partisan fighter to a middle-aged chemist experimenting with a new paint that wards off evil, to the lustful thoughts of an older man obsessed with a mysterious woman in a seaside villa.

In the title story, Levi demonstrates his unerringly tragic understanding of the fragility of the universe through the tale of a pensive astronomer, terrified by the possibility that a long-dormant star might explode and reduce the entire planet to vapor. This remarkable new collection affirms Italo Calvino's conviction that Levi was "one of the most important and gifted writers of our time."

Review:

"Holocaust memoirist Levi (1919–1987) also wrote small fiction sketches, reminiscent of contemporaries Dino Buzzatti and Italo Calvino, for periodicals, collected here and introduced by Goldstein. Of two realistic pieces that recall The Periodic Table and Survival in Auschwitz, one concerns the last minute in the life of a resistance fighter whose act against his German captors would today be called a suicide bombing. Transparent political allegories, of the kind that were fashionable in the Cold War period up to the late '60s, predominate. In the slighter of the 17 works, a miraculous paint is developed to replace lucky charms, and a Mad Max — like look at sports of the future describes tourneys conducted between men armed with hammers and cars. 'The Molecule's Defiance' concerns the inexplicable spoiling of a batch of synthetic chemical, eerie in its description of a monstrous, gelatinizing mass expanding rapidly in a reactor, as though revolting against its human makers. While these pieces (published in Italian from 1949 to 1986) don't really stand on their own, they shed further light on Levi's life and work." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Primo Levi, the Italian Jewish chemist and writer who died 20 years ago, is best known for his 1959 memoir 'Survival in Auschwitz.' But this new collection of stories — all previously unpublished in English — will surely surprise readers familiar with Levi as a 'Holocaust writer' or even those who know the semi-autobiographical stories in 'The Periodic Table.' 'A Tranquil Star' is a cabinet of curiosities,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"In Levi's writing, nothing is superfluous and everything is essential." Saul Bellow

Review:

"The stories are breathtaking in their breadth of offerings, yet Levi's clarity of voice is consistently offset by his familiar misdirection....This collection is a noble literary achievement." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] posthumous collection of stories that covers the full span of [Levi's] writing career. It's a bit of a grab bag — but what a grab bag!...The translations...all read smoothly, capturing Levi's spry leaps of thought and turns of phrase." Seattle Times

Review:

"The stories are colored by the inescapable obsession with politics that defines the Italian psyche. They tend toward the allegorical, but they are also incisive and thought-provoking." Chicago Tribune

Synopsis:

The first English publication of 17 classic Primo Levi stories marks the 20th anniversary of his death.

Synopsis:

A Tranquil Star, the first new American collection of Primo Levi previously untranslated fiction to appear since 1990, affirms his position as one of the twentieth century's most enduring writers.

Synopsis:

These seventeen stories, first published in Italian between 1949 and 1986, demonstrate Levi's extraordinary range, taking the reader from the primal resistance of a captured partisan fighter to a middle-aged chemist experimenting with a new paint that wards off evil, to the lustful thoughts of an older man obsessed with a mysterious woman in a seaside villa. In the title story, Levi demonstrates his unerringly tragic understanding of the fragility of the universe through the tale of a pensive astronomer, terrified by the possibility that a long-dormant star might explode and reduce the entire planet to vapor. This remarkable new collection affirms Italo Calvino's conviction that Levi was "one of the most important and gifted writers of our time."

About the Author

Primo Levi (1919–1987), a chemist by training, gained international recognition for his 1959 memoir Survival in Auschwitz.

Ann Goldstein, an editor at The New Yorker, won the PEN Prize for Italian translation in 1993.

Alessandra Bastagli, a native of Milan, is an editor at Palgrave/Macmillan.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Carlos, July 26, 2007 (view all comments by Carlos)
Primo Levi is one of those people whom you want to hear everything they have to say. This set of short stories - previously unpublished in English - show a different side to this author who is better known for his Holocaust writing. I highly recommend this to any Primo Levi fan, and to anyone inerested in reading an excellent set of stories.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393064681
Author:
Levi, Primo
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Translator:
Goldstein, Ann
Translator:
Bastagli, Alessandra
Author:
Bastagli, Alessandra
Author:
Goldstein, Ann
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 11, 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 176 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393064681 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Holocaust memoirist Levi (1919–1987) also wrote small fiction sketches, reminiscent of contemporaries Dino Buzzatti and Italo Calvino, for periodicals, collected here and introduced by Goldstein. Of two realistic pieces that recall The Periodic Table and Survival in Auschwitz, one concerns the last minute in the life of a resistance fighter whose act against his German captors would today be called a suicide bombing. Transparent political allegories, of the kind that were fashionable in the Cold War period up to the late '60s, predominate. In the slighter of the 17 works, a miraculous paint is developed to replace lucky charms, and a Mad Max — like look at sports of the future describes tourneys conducted between men armed with hammers and cars. 'The Molecule's Defiance' concerns the inexplicable spoiling of a batch of synthetic chemical, eerie in its description of a monstrous, gelatinizing mass expanding rapidly in a reactor, as though revolting against its human makers. While these pieces (published in Italian from 1949 to 1986) don't really stand on their own, they shed further light on Levi's life and work." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The allegorical stories here feel clever, but sometimes labored in their striving for originality, less distinctive than his substantial memoirs or than The Periodic Table and the three or four best of his poems. Though it doesn't represent Levi's major work, it completes his important library in English." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "In Levi's writing, nothing is superfluous and everything is essential."
"Review" by , "The stories are breathtaking in their breadth of offerings, yet Levi's clarity of voice is consistently offset by his familiar misdirection....This collection is a noble literary achievement."
"Review" by , "[A] posthumous collection of stories that covers the full span of [Levi's] writing career. It's a bit of a grab bag — but what a grab bag!...The translations...all read smoothly, capturing Levi's spry leaps of thought and turns of phrase."
"Review" by , "The stories are colored by the inescapable obsession with politics that defines the Italian psyche. They tend toward the allegorical, but they are also incisive and thought-provoking."
"Synopsis" by , The first English publication of 17 classic Primo Levi stories marks the 20th anniversary of his death.
"Synopsis" by , A Tranquil Star, the first new American collection of Primo Levi previously untranslated fiction to appear since 1990, affirms his position as one of the twentieth century's most enduring writers.
"Synopsis" by , These seventeen stories, first published in Italian between 1949 and 1986, demonstrate Levi's extraordinary range, taking the reader from the primal resistance of a captured partisan fighter to a middle-aged chemist experimenting with a new paint that wards off evil, to the lustful thoughts of an older man obsessed with a mysterious woman in a seaside villa. In the title story, Levi demonstrates his unerringly tragic understanding of the fragility of the universe through the tale of a pensive astronomer, terrified by the possibility that a long-dormant star might explode and reduce the entire planet to vapor. This remarkable new collection affirms Italo Calvino's conviction that Levi was "one of the most important and gifted writers of our time."
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