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The View From Castle Rock

Author : Alice Munro
ISBN : 9781551992716
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 42. 82 MB
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A new collection of stories by Alice Munro is always a major event. This new collection — her most personal to date — is no exception. Alice Munro’s stories are always wonderful and so ingrained with truths about life that readers always want to know where they came from. In this book, Alice Munro tells us. In her Foreword (an unusual feature in itself), she explains how she, born Alice Laidlaw in Ontario, in recent years became interested in the history of her Laidlaw ancestors. Starting in the wilds of the Scottish Borders, she learned a great deal about a famous ancestor, born around 1700, who, as his tombstone records, “for feats of frolic, agility and strength, had no equal in his day.” She traced the family’s history with the help of that man’s nephew, the famous writer James Hogg, finding to her delight that each generation of the family had produced a writer who wanted to record what had befallen them. In this way, she was able to follow the family’s voyage to Canada in 1818, and their hard times as pioneers — once a father dies on the same day that a daughter is born in the same frontier cabin. “I put all this material together over the years,” Alice tells us, “and almost without my noticing what was happening, it began to shape itself, here and there, into something almost like stories. Some of the characters gave themselves to me in their own words, others rose out of their situations.” As the book goes down through the generations, we come to Robert Laidlaw, Alice’s father, and then, at the book’s heart, the stories become first-person stories, set during her lifetime. So is this a memoir? No. She drew on personal experiences, “but then I did anything I wanted to with this material, because the chief thing I was doing was making a story.” The resulting collection of stories range from the title story — where through a haze of whiskey Alice’s ancestors gaze north from Edinburgh Castle at the Fife coast, believing that it is North America — all the way to the final story, where we travel with “Alice Munro” today. In the author’s words, these stories “pay more attention to the truth of a life than fiction usually does. But not enough to swear on.” All of them are Alice Munro stories. There could be no higher praise. From the Hardcover edition.

Family Furnishings

Author : Alice Munro
ISBN : 9781101874110
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 77. 90 MB
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From the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature—and one of our most beloved writers—a new selection of her peerless short fiction, gathered from the collections of the last two decades, a companion volume to Selected Stories (1968-1994). Family Furnishings brings us twenty-four of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. Subtly honed with her hallmark precision, grace, and compassion, these stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world. Peopled with characters as real to us as we are to ourselves, Munro’s stories encompass the fullness of human experience—from the wild exhilaration of first love, in “Passion,” to the lengths a once-straying husband will go to make his wife happy as her memory fades, in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Other stories suggest the punishing consequences of leaving home (“Runaway”) or leaving a marriage (“The Children Stay”). The part romantic love plays in one’s existence is explored in “Too Much Happiness,” based on the life of the noted nineteenth-century mathematician, Sophia Kovalevsky. And in stories that Munro has described as “closer to the truth than usual”—“Dear Life,” “Working for a Living,” and “Home” among them—we glimpse the author’s own life. As the Nobel Prize presentation speech says in part: “Reading one of Alice Munro’s texts is like watching a cat walk across a laid dinner table. A brief short story can often cover decades, summarizing a life, as she moves deftly between different periods. No wonder Alice Munro is often able to say more in thirty pages than an ordinary novelist is capable of in three hundred. She is a virtuoso of the elliptical and the master of the contemporary short story.” From the Hardcover edition.

Spring Snow

Author : Yukio Mishima
ISBN : 9780307834317
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 20. 75 MB
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Yukio Mishima’s Spring Snow is the first novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Here we meet Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae. It is 1912 in Tokyo, and the hermetic world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders — rich provincial families unburdened by tradition, whose money and vitality make them formidable contenders for social and political power. Shigekuni Honda, an aspiring lawyer and his childhood friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae, are the sons of two such families. As they come of age amidst the growing tensions between old and new, Kiyoaki is plagued by his simultaneous love for and loathing of the spirited young woman Ayakura Satoko. But Kiyoaki’s true feelings only become apparent when her sudden engagement to a royal prince shows him the magnitude of his passion — and leads to a love affair both doomed and inevitable. From the Trade Paperback edition.

After Dark

Author : Haruki Murakami
ISBN : 9780307370488
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 38. 22 MB
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A short, sleek novel of encounters set in the witching hours of Tokyo between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. At its center are two sisters: Yuri, a fashion model sleeping her way into oblivion; and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s into lives radically alien to her own: those of a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before; a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maidstaff; and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Yuri’s slumber–mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime – will either restore or annihilate her. After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency – the interplay between self-expression and understanding, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery. “Eyes mark the shape of the city. Through the eyes of a high-flying night bird, we take in the scene from midair. In our broad sweep, the city looks like a single gigantic creature–or more, like a single collective entity created by many intertwining organisms. Countless arteries stretch to the ends of its elusive body, circulating a continuous supply of fresh blood cells, sending out new data and collecting the old, sending out new consumables and collecting the old, sending out new contradictions and collecting the old. To the rhythm of its pulsing, all parts of the body flicker and flare up and squirm. Midnight is approaching, and while the peak of activity has indeed passed, the basal metabolism that maintains life continues undiminished, producing the basso continuo of the city’s moan, a monotonous sound that neither rises nor falls but is pregnant with foreboding.” —from After Dark

The Secret Life Of Genius

Author : John Chambers
ISBN : 9781594779268
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 73. 42 MB
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A look at the metaphysical experiences that shaped the lives and work of 24 great men and women from the Renaissance to modern times • Chronicles the changing relationship with God, nature, and spirituality from the 16th century to the 20th century • Includes encounters with the paranormal of Ben Johnson, Isaac Newton, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy, Doris Lessing, and Winston Churchill What role did the esoteric thought of Swedenborg play in the creative output of Honoré de Balzac? Did a supernatural encounter prompt Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to focus her work on the theme of immortality? Building on his earlier research on communications with the spirit world that Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables, experienced while in exile on the isle of Jersey, John Chambers now looks at the role occult knowledge and supernatural experiences played in the lives of 24 geniuses. His investigation spans the life and work of William Blake, Helena Blavatsky, and W. B. Yeats, whose esoteric interests are well known, as well as those little suspected of such encounters with worlds beyond ours, including Doris Lessing, Leo Tolstoy, Norman Mailer, Yukio Mishima, and Winston Churchill. Chambers presents more than a collection of anecdotes and newly revealed secrets. His research provides insightful historical context of the decisive turning point that took place with the collapse of Prague, the occult capital of Europe, in 1620, which resulted in the victory of Cartesian reality and Newton’s scientific paradigm over the esoteric traditions that flourished until that time. The magical and occult world shown in the lives of these 24 great men and women offers us a glimpse of what could still be ours--a world that though it is now overshadowed by modern scientific and technological principles is yet still visible on the horizon through the visions and paranormal experiences of these geniuses.

Philida

Author : Andre Brink
ISBN : 9780345805041
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 80. 4 MB
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This is what it is to be a slave: that everything is decided for you from out there. You just got to listen and do as they tell you. You don’t say no. You don’t ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far at the back of your head you think: Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall not. In Philida, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, André Brink—“one of South Africa's greatest novelists” (The Telegraph)—gives us his most powerful novel yet; the truly unforgettable story of a female slave, and her fierce determination to survive and to be free. It is 1832 in South Africa, the year before slavery is abolished and the slaves are emancipated. Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. When Francois’s father orders him to marry a woman from a prominent Cape Town family, Francois reneges on his promise to give Philida her freedom, threatening instead to sell her to new owners in the harsh country up north. Here is the remarkable story—based on individuals connected to the author’s family—of a fiercely independent woman who will settle for nothing and for no one. Unwilling to accept the future that lies ahead of her, Philida continues to test the limits and lodges a complaint against the Brink family. Then she sets off on a journey—from the southernmost reaches of the Cape, across a great wilderness, to the far north of the country—in order to reclaim her soul. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Five Modern No Plays

Author : Yukio Mishima
ISBN : 9780307473110
Genre : Drama
File Size : 31. 10 MB
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The classic Japanese No drama is one of the great art forms. Mishima has infused new life into the form by adopting it for plays that preserve the style and inner spirit of No while at the same time creating dramas that are contemporary and relevant.

Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage

Author : Alice Munro
ISBN : 9781551993959
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 78. 47 MB
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As always, Alice Munro surprises us. While the nine stories in this new collection could not be written by anyone else, they are subtly different. The title story, for example, ranges from small-town Ontario just after the war to a near-deserted hotel on the bald Saskatchewan prairie. The setting may be strange, uncharted Munro territory, but the plot is familiar, with two lives changed forever by a random act of mischief that can never be revealed. “Floating Bridge” is also a typical Alice Munro story, but different. Forty-two-year-old Jinny is fighting cancer, and the front room in their middle-class home is turned into a sickroom. Her husband hires a girl to look after her, and they visit the girl’s trailer park relatives. Class tensions are exposed (“You know you’ll hurt their feelings,” he whispered. “They’re trying to be nice to you.”), and then something both unbelievable and totally believable happens to conclude the story in a way the reader will never forget. Other stories contain lines that change the world. A promisingly flirtatious reunion with a teenage sweetheart, now married, takes an unexpected turn. (“About our youngest boy,” he said. “Our youngest boy was killed last summer.” Oh. “He was run over,” he said. “I was the one who ran over him. Backing out of our driveway.” I stopped again. He stopped with me. Both of us stared ahead. “His name was Brian. He was three.”) In this great book by one of the world’s great writers, the settings may be Vancouver Island, small-town Ontario, Toronto, or Vancouver, but the stories are universal, and the characters – no, the people in the stories – are unforgettable. From the Hardcover edition.

Runaway Horses

Author : Yukio Mishima
ISBN : 9780307834300
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 33. 81 MB
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Yukio Mishima’s Runaway Horses is the second novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Again we encounter Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his childhood friend Kiyoaki Matsugae. In 1932, Shigeuki Honda has become a judge in Osaka. Convinced that a young rightist revolutionary, Isao, is the reincarnation of his friend Kiyoaki, Honda commits himself to saving the youth from an untimely death. Isao, driven to patriotic fanaticism by a father who instilled in him the ethos of the ancient samurai, organizes a violent plot against the new industrialists who he believes are usurping the Emperor’s rightful power and threatening the very integrity of the nation. Runaway Horses is the chronicle of a conspiracy — a novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Alice Munro And The Anatomy Of The Short Story

Author : Oriana Palusci
ISBN : 9781527507005
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 60. 50 MB
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Alice Munro has devoted her entire career to the short story form in her fourteen collections, having won the Nobel Prize in Literature “as master of the contemporary short story”. This edited volume investigates her art as a storyteller, the processes she performs on the contemporary short story genre in her creative anatomical theatre. Divided into five topical sections, it is a collection of scholarly chapters which offer textual insights into a single story, compare two or more texts, or casts a more panoramic view on Munro’s literary production, embracing stories from her first collection Dance of the Happy Shades to her last published Dear Life. Through different critical approaches that range from post-structuralism to cultural studies, from linguistics and rhetorical analyses to translation studies, the authors insist on the concept that no fixed patterns prevail in her short stories, as Munro has constantly developed, challenged, and revised existing modes of generic configuration, while discussing the fluidity, the elusiveness, the indeterminacy, the ambiguity of her superb writing.

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