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Message From The Shadows


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This new, expanded collection of Antonio Tabucchi's stories collects the best short fiction from the Italian author recognized as one of the masters of the form.

About the Author

A master of short fiction, Antonio Tabucchi won the Prix Medicis tranger for Indian Nocturne, the Italian PEN Prize for Requiem- A Hallucination, the Aristeion European Literature Prize for Pereira Declares, and was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. Together with his wife, Maria Jose de Lancastre, Tabucchi translated much of the work of Fernando Pessoa into Italian. Tabucchi's works include The Flying Creature of Fra Angelico, The Woman of Porto Pim, and Little Misunderstandings of No Importance (all translated by Tim Parks), Tristano Dies and For Isabel- A Mandala (both translated by Elizabeth Harris, recipient of the National Translation Award), and Time Ages in a Hurry (translated by Martha Cooley and Antonio Romani).


The 22 elegant short stories in this posthumous collection highlight the international perspective, melancholy tone, humor, and compassion of Italian author Tabucchi ... Tabucchi's intelligence and humane perspective shine throughout this thoughtful, noteworthy volume. --Publishers Weekly, starred review

A career-spanning story collection from Tabucchi ... exploring the liminal spaces between dream and waking, fact and fiction. ... A fine tribute to a writer defined by his singular command of mood and mystery. -- Kirkus Reviews Tabucchi's prose creates a deep, heart-wrenching nostalgia and constantly evokes the pain of recognizing the speed of life's passing which everyone knows but few have the strength to accept... wonderfully thought-provoking and beautiful.-- Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered (for The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico) Tabucchi's work has an almost palpable sympathy for the oppressed.--The New York Times

Tabucchi is a master of the form in imagination, beauty, scope, and scale even at the tiniest calibration. -Kerri Arsenault, Lit Hub One could call him a great literary defender of the oppressed and marginalized (political prisoners or revolutionaries are among his stock figures), but he does not so much defend them, in the moralistic, paternalistic sense, as allow them a voice... Tabucchi delights in the metatheatricality of writing: more often than not the narrators in this collection are conscious of their role as storytellers, and are writing or speaking as if to a silent companion - a position that is filled by the reader. As a result, even the tamer stories feel on the verges of reality. -- Samuel Graydon, Times Literary Supplement A surprising tranquility pervades the stories, and it's to Tabucchi's great credit that they never feel muted...The melancholy tunes that fill the pages of Message from the Shadows are enigmas of longing, signals woven in the air that fade and disappear and leave only hunger in their wake...Tabucchi's generally incantatory prose here assumes a heightened air of ritual; the power of inexpressible sorrow becomes a dark vortex, vaguely barbaric in its strength. -- The Threepenny Review 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 longing and, too, with a dreamlike quality that is tempting to characterize as magical 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. -- Thrillist Praise for Antonio Tabucchi: The book has a mercurial, dream-like quality that is stunning in its subtlety. Never heavy-handed, this quiet novel is as beautiful and profound as a landscape painting.--Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore for For Isabel To find one's way through For Isabel is certainly not easy, but it is rewarding, and its joyful confusion always rests firmly on the edge of genius, ready to be found.-- Samuel Graydon, The Times Literary Supplement [For Isabel is] more than the story of a missing girl; it is history recalled as though in a dream, hovering briefly, through the combination of Tabucchi's elegiac prose and Harris's lucid translation, over life and death.-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review An essential testament to Tabucchi's talent, a masterwork written with diligence and care... The novel is an epitome of Tabucchi's work, an account of exotic travels and blossoming, abstruse identities, a dreamlike and ironic limbo... Literary alchemy.-- Javier Aparicio Maydeu, El Pais for For Isabel What a strange and wonderful book this is! If, like me, you are interested in shipwrecks, whales, the Azores and the unique way in which only literature can bring a location to life, and if you like the unclassifiable, small works by authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Italo Calvino -- then have I got the book for you ... Wildly inventive.-- Minneapolis Star-Tribune for The Women of Porto Pim

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