A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories of Primo Levi by Primo Levi
Reviewed by Mona Simpson
The Atlantic Monthly
"In 1978, the year I declared my English major at Berkeley, the writers I most admired weren't even English. Around the hilly campus, I carried Gabriel GarcÃa MÃ¡rquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and GÃ¼nter Grass's The Tin Drum. Though both novels depend on stylized history, that seemed a background pleasure, upstaged by the imaginative bonanzas of their narrative circus trains. One felt their influence everywhere, trickling down even into the undergraduate Introduction to Fiction workshops, where tales of human flight abounded and even I, a cautious 19-year-old, began a novel that featured a scarecrow and children with thalidomide fins serving dinner in a strange coastal hotel...." Read the entire Atlantic Monthly review.