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Nature Stories

Nature Stories

Author: Jules Renard
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590173643
Pages: 165
Year: 2011
"Jules Renard's Nature Stories is a deliciously whimsical classic from the era of the great French Postimpressionist painters. Renard mingles wonder and humor in a series of miniature portraits of subjects drawn from the natural world- dogs, cats, pigs, roses, snails, trees and birds of all sorts, humans of course, and even a humble potato. Ranging from a sentence to several pages, Renard's sketches are masterpieces of compression and description, capturing both appearance and behavior through a choice of details that makes the familiar unfamiliar and yet surprisingly true to life. Renard's animals not only feel but speak, and one species, the swallow, even writes Hebrew. These creatures fascinate Renard, who in turn makes them fascinating to us, instilling us with the sense that everything that has a life and grows in the hand of nature is to be respected, and that every creature and being is as individual as it is interrelated. In Douglas Parmee's inspired new translation, Renard's wonderful evocations of the natural world come to life as never before in English."
Nature Stories

Nature Stories

Author: Jules Renard
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590175689
Pages: 192
Year: 2011-12-14
The natural world in all its richness, glimpsed variously in the house, the barnyard, and the garden, in ponds and streams, and at large in the woods and the fields, including old friends like the dog, the cat, the cow, and the pig, along with more unusual and sometimes alarming characters such as the weasel, the dragonfly, snakes of several sorts, and even a whale, not to mention ants in their seeming infinitude and a single humble potato—all these and more are the subjects of what may well be the most deft and delightful book of literary miniatures ever written. In Jules Renard’s world, plants and animals not only feel but speak (one species, the swallow, appears to write Hebrew), and yet, for all the anthropomorphic wit and whimsy the author indulges in, they guard their mystery too. Sly, funny, and touching, Nature Stories, here beautifully rendered into English by Douglas Parmée and accompanied by the wonderful ink-brush images of Pierre Bonnard with which the book was originally published, is a literary classic of inexhaustible freshness.
Nature Stories

Nature Stories

Author: Jules Renard
Publisher: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 1590173643
Pages: 165
Year: 2011
Jules Renard’s Nature Stories is a deliciously whimsical classic from the era of the great French Postimpressionist painters. Renard mingles wonder and humor in a series of miniature portraits of subjects drawn from the natural world: dogs, cats, pigs, roses, snails, trees and birds of all sorts, humans of course, and even a humble potato. Ranging from a sentence to several pages, Renard’s sketches are masterpieces of compression and description, capturing both appearance and behavior through a choice of details that makes the familiar unfamiliar and yet surprisingly true to life. Renard’s animals not only feel but speak, and one species, the swallow, even writes Hebrew. These creatures fascinate Renard, who in turn makes them fascinating to us, instilling us with the sense that everything that has a life and grows in the hand of nature is to be respected, and that every creature and being is as individual as it is interrelated. In Douglas Parmée’s inspired new translation, Renard’s wonderful evocations of the natural world come to life as never before in English.
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton

Author: Edith Wharton
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174364
Pages: 464
Year: 2011-08-17
A New York Review Books Original Edith Wharton wrote about New York as only a native can. Her Manhattan is a city of well-appointed drawing rooms, hansoms and broughams, all-night cotillions, and resplendent Fifth Avenue flats. Bishops’ nieces mingle with bachelor industrialists; respectable wives turn into excellent mistresses. All are governed by a code of behavior as rigid as it is precarious. What fascinates Wharton are the points of weakness in the structure of Old New York: the artists and writers at its fringes, the free-love advocates testing its limits, widows and divorcées struggling to hold their own. The New York Stories of Edith Wharton gathers twenty stories of the city, written over the course of Wharton’s career. From her first published story, “Mrs. Manstey’s View,” to one of her last and most celebrated, “Roman Fever,” this new collection charts the growth of an American master and enriches our understanding of the central themes of her work, among them the meaning of marriage, the struggle for artistic integrity, the bonds between parent and child, and the plight of the aged. Illuminated by Roxana Robinson’s Introduction, these stories showcase Wharton’s astonishing insight into the turbulent inner lives of the men and women caught up in a rapidly changing society.
A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories

A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories

Author: Robert Walser
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176928
Pages: 208
Year: 2013-09-03
A Schoolboy’s Diary brings together more than seventy of Robert Walser’s strange and wonderful stories, most never before available in English. Opening with a sequence from Walser’s first book, “Fritz Kocher’s Essays,” the complete classroom assignments of a fictional boy who has met a tragically early death, this selection ranges from sketches of uncomprehending editors, overly passionate readers, and dreamy artists to tales of devilish adultery, sexual encounters on a train, and Walser’s service in World War I. Throughout, Walser’s careening, confounding, delicious voice holds the reader transfixed.
Compulsory Games

Compulsory Games

Author: Robert Aickman
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681371898
Pages: 368
Year: 2018
"The best and most interesting stories by Robert Aickman, a master of the supernatural tale, the uncanny, and the truly weird. Cross Henry James with M.R. James and you might end up with a writer like Robert Aickman, though his self-described "strange stories" remain confoundingly and uniquely his own. Aickman's superbly written tales terrify not with standard thrills and gore but through a radical overturning of the laws of nature and everyday life. His territory of the strange, of the "void behind the face of order," is a surreal region that grotesquely mimics the quotidian: Is that river the Thames, or is it even a river? What does it mean when a prospective lover removes one dress, and then another--and then another? Do a herd of cows in a peaceful churchyard contain the souls of jilted women preparing to trample a cruel lover to death? Published for the first time under one cover, this collection offers a generous introduction to a sophisticated, psychologically acute modernist whose achievements have too long been hidden under the cloak of genre"--
The Summer Book

The Summer Book

Author: Tove Jansson
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176820
Pages: 184
Year: 2012-08-08
In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life. Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.
The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick

The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick

Author: Elizabeth Hardwick
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174410
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-07-13
Elizabeth Hardwick was one of America’s great postwar women of letters, celebrated as a novelist and as an essayist. Until now, however, her slim but remarkable achievement as a writer of short stories has remained largely hidden, with her work tucked away in the pages of the periodicals—such asPartisan Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books—in which it originally appeared. This first collection of Hardwick’s short fiction reveals her brilliance as a stylist and as an observer of contemporary life. A young woman returns from New York to her childhood Kentucky home and discovers the world of difference within her. A girl’s boyfriend is not quite good enough, his “silvery eyes, light and cool, revealing nothing except pure possibility, like a coin in hand.” A magazine editor’s life falls strangely to pieces after she loses both her husband and her job. Individual lives and the life of New York, the setting or backdrop for most of these stories, are strikingly and memorably depicted in Hardwick’s beautiful and razor-sharp prose.
The New York Stories of Henry James

The New York Stories of Henry James

Author: Henry James
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174321
Pages: 592
Year: 2011-08-17
Henry James led a wandering life, which took him far from his native shores, but he continued to think of New York City, where his family had settled for several years during his childhood, as his hometown. Here Colm Tóibín, the author of the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel The Master, a portrait of Henry James, brings together for the first time all the stories that James set in New York City. Written over the course of James’s career and ranging from the deliciously tart comedy of the early “An International Episode” to the surreal and haunted corridors of “The Jolly Corner,” and including “Washington Square,” the poignant novella considered by many (though not, as it happens, by the author himself) to be one of James’s finest achievements, the nine fictions gathered here reflect James’s varied talents and interests as well as the deep and abiding preoccupations of his imagination. And throughout the book, as Tóibín’s fascinating introduction demonstrates, we see James struggling to make sense of a city in whose rapidly changing outlines he discerned both much that he remembered and held dear as well as everything about America and its future that he dreaded most. Stories included: The Story of a Masterpiece A Most Extraordinary Case Crawford’s Consistency An International Episode The Impressions of a Cousin The Jolly Corner Washington Square Crapy Cornelia A Round of Visits
Berlin Stories

Berlin Stories

Author: Robert Walser
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590174542
Pages: 139
Year: 2012
"New York Review Books original"--P. [4] of cover.
Paris Stories

Paris Stories

Author: Mavis Gallant
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 1551996316
Pages: 376
Year: 2011-05-18
Internationally celebrated, award-winning author Mavis Gallant is a contemporary legend: an undisputed master of the short story whose peerless prose captures the range of human experience while evoking time and place with unequalled skill. This new selection of Gallant’s stories, edited by novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje, gathers the best of her many stories set in Paris, where Gallant has long lived. Here she writes of expatriates and locals, exile and homecoming, and of the illusions of youth and age, offering a kaleidoscopic impression of the world within the world that is Paris.
Rock Crystal

Rock Crystal

Author: Adalbert Stifter
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681370530
Pages: 96
Year: 2015-12-15
Seemingly the simplest of stories—a passing anecdote of village life— Rock Crystal opens up into a tale of almost unendurable suspense. This jewel-like novella by the writer that Thomas Mann praised as "one of the most extraordinary, the most enigmatic, the most secretly daring and the most strangely gripping narrators in world literature" is among the most unusual, moving, and memorable of Christmas stories. Two children—Conrad and his little sister, Sanna—set out from their village high up in the Alps to visit their grandparents in the neighboring valley. It is the day before Christmas but the weather is mild, though of course night falls early in December and the children are warned not to linger. The grandparents welcome the children with presents and pack them off with kisses. Then snow begins to fall, ever more thickly and steadily. Undaunted, the children press on, only to take a wrong turn. The snow rises higher and higher, time passes: it is deep night when the sky clears and Conrad and Sanna discover themselves out on a glacier, terrifying and beautiful, the heart of the void. Adalbert Stifter's rapt and enigmatic tale, beautifully translated by Elizabeth Mayer and Marianne Moore, explores what can be found between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—or on any night of the year.
Alfred and Guinevere

Alfred and Guinevere

Author: James Schuyler, John Ashbery
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 0940322498
Pages: 126
Year: 1958
One of the finest American poets of the second half of the twentieth century, James Schuyler was at the same time a remarkable novelist. Alfred and Guinevere are two children who have been sent by their parents to spend the summer at their grandmother's house in the country. There they puzzle over their parents' absence and their relatives' habits, play games and pranks, make friends and fall out with them, spat and make up. Schuyler has a pitch-perfect ear for the children's voices, and the story, told entirely through snatches of dialogue and passages from Guinevere's diary, is a tour de force of comic and poetic invention. The reader discovers that beneath the book's apparently guileless surface lies a very sophisticated awareness of the complicated ways in which words work to define the often perilous boundaries between fantasy and reality, innocence and knowledge.
Fair Play

Fair Play

Author: Tove Jansson
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176855
Pages: 120
Year: 2012-10-17
Fair Play is the type of love story that is rarely told, a revelatory depiction of contentment, hard-won and exhilarating. Mari is a writer and Jonna is an artist, and they live at opposite ends of a big apartment building, their studios connected by a long attic passageway. They have argued, worked, and laughed together for decades. Yet they’ve never really stopped taking each other by surprise. Fair Play shows us Mari and Jona’s intertwined lives as they watch Fassbinder films and Westerns, critique each other’s work, spend time on a solitary island (recognizable to readers of Jansson’s The Summer Book), travel through the American Southwest, and turn life into nothing less than art.
Hill

Hill

Author: Jean Giono
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179196
Pages: 144
Year: 2016-04-05
An NYRB Classics Original Deep in Provence, a century ago, four stone houses perch on a hillside. Wildness presses in from all sides. Beyond a patchwork of fields, a mass of green threatens to overwhelm the village. The animal world—a miming cat, a malevolent boar—displays a mind of its own. The four houses have a dozen residents—and then there is Gagou, a mute drifter. Janet, the eldest of the men, is bedridden; he feels snakes writhing in his fingers and speaks in tongues. Even so, all is well until the village fountain suddenly stops running. From this point on, humans and the natural world are locked in a life-and-death struggle. All the elements—fire, water, earth, and air—come into play. From an early age, Jean Giono roamed the hills of his native Provence. He absorbed oral traditions and, at the same time, devoured the Greek and Roman classics. Hill, his first novel and the first winner of the Prix Brentano, comes fully back to life in Paul Eprile’s poetic translation.