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Title Author Description
book image The Widow
Georges Simenon
+ Description

Two outcasts, a widow and a recently released murderer, become involved in a love triangle with the girl next door. Published in the same year and often compared to The Stranger, The Widow is one of Simenon's most powerful and disturbing romans durs.
Contributors: Paul Theroux , John Petrie

book image Conquered City
Conquered City
Victor Serge
+ Description

Set in post-Russian-Revolutionary St. Petersburg, Conquered City is structured like a detective story in which the new regime, looking toward "the birth of a new kind of justice," seeks out the spies, speculators, and traitors hidden among the exhausted mass of common people. "[Serge is] one of the most compelling of twentieth-century ethical and literary heroes." —Susan Sontag
Contributors: Richard Greeman

book image Midnight in the Century
Midnight in the Century
Victor Serge
+ Description

A searching novel about a group of revolutionaries—true believers in a cause that no longer exists—living in unlikely exile among Russian Orthodox Old Believers, also suffering for their faith. "Like Koestler in ‘Darkness at Noon,’ Serge seems to be saying that man, the particular, is more important than mankind, the abstraction."—John Leonard, The New York Times
Contributors: Richard Greeman

book image Transit
Anna Seghers
+ Description

A young German concentration-camp escapee finds himself in Marseille with a cache of papers and travel documents belonging to another man—who just happens to be dead. “Anna Seghers in Transit has painted a grim and crowded picture of Marseille when it was still a port of possible escape for the fugitives of all Europe…[Transit’s] very air of confusion and blind groping is consonant with its theme.”—Christian Science Monitor
Contributors: Peter Conrad , Heinrich Böll , Margot Dembo

book image The Bridge of Beyond
Bridge of Beyond
Simone Schwarz-Bart
+ Description

A multi-generational tale of love and madness, mothers and daughters, folkloric wisdom and the grim legacy of slavery, set on the French Antillean island of Guadeloupe. “There’s magic, madness, glory, tenderness, above all abundant hope.”—Financial Times
Contributors: Jamaica Kincaid , Barbara Bray

book image The Wedding of Zein
The Wedding of Zein
Tayeb Salih
+ Description

Salih returns to the Sudanese village that was the setting of Season of Migration to the North to tell a variety of tales—including the title story, in which the miraculous betrothal of the town fool unites its residents in unforeseen ways. "A long ululation for life, a hymn of love." —Ali al-Rai
Contributors: Hisham Matar , Denys Johnson-Davies

book image Nature Stories
Nature Stories
Jules Renard
+ Description

Whimsical and charming miniature portraits of subjects drawn from the natural world: dogs, cats, pigs, roses, snails, trees, birds, and others. Renard’s sketches are masterpieces of compression and description, capturing both appearance and behavior through details that make the familiar unfamiliar, yet surprisingly true to life.
Contributors: Pierre Bonnard , Douglas Parmée

book image The Captain's Daughter
Captain's Daughter
Alexander Pushkin
+ Description

At once a fairy tale and a thrilling historical novel of rebellion and romance, this singularly Russian work of the imagination is also a timeless, universal, and very winning story of how love and duty can summon pluck and luck to confront calamity. “The Captain’s Daughter is one of the stories in which Pushkin created Russian prose.... It is true poet’s prose, absolutely clear, objective, unpretentious and penetrating.”—Robert Conquest, The Spectator
Contributors: Robert Chandler , Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler

book image The Doll
Bolesław Prus
+ Description

A 19th-century novel that takes in the sweep of three generations caught up in dreams of Polish revolution as well as the hopes, agonies, and yearnings of a panorama of characters. Prus's book shows the influence of his literary idols, Dickens and Twain. "Rich in episodic figures and observations of daily life in Warsaw, the novel demonstrates 19th-century realism at its best." —Czesław Miłosz
Contributors: Stanisław Barańczak , David Welsh

book image The Gray Notebook
Gray Notebook
Josep Pla
+ Description

“Josep Pla was a great noticer of things and places; his gaze was alert and dry; he wrote in a style which registered both the smallest detail and the large picture. His relationship to Catalan identity and Spanish history was complex, often ambiguous. His relationship, however, to the scene in front of him, or the days in which he lived, remains fascinating for its clarity, its sharpness, its originality and its wit. On display in his work is a glittering and sparkling sensibility.”—Colm Tóibín
Contributors: Valenti Puig , Peter Bush