"A hero with Huck Finn's heart and charm, lighting by El Greco and jokes by Punch and Judy. . . . Riddley Walker is haunting and fiercely imagined and--this matters most--intensely ponderable." --Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review
"This is what literature is meant to be." --Anthony Burgess
"Russell Hoban has brought off an extraordinary feat of imagination and style. . . . The conviction and consistency are total. Funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece." --Anthony Thwaite, Observer
"Extraordinary . . . Suffused with melancholy and wonder, beautifully written, Riddley Walker is a novel that people will be reading for a long, long time." --Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
"Stunning, delicious, designed to prevent the modern reader from becoming stupid." --John Leonard, The New York Times
"Highly enjoyable . . . An intriguing plot . . . Ferociously inventive." --Walter Clemons, Newsweek
"Astounding . . . Hoban's soaring flight of imagination is that golden rarity, a dazzlingly realized work of genius." --Jane Clapperton, Cosmopolitan
"An imaginative intensity that is rare in contemporary fiction.' --Paul Gray, Time
Riddley Walker is a brilliant, unique, completely realized work of fiction. One reads it again and again, discovering new wonders every time through. Set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England (Inland), Hoban has imagined a humanity regressed to an iron-age, semi-literate state--and invented a language to represent it. Riddley is at once the Huck Finn and the Stephen Dedalus of his culture--rebel, change agent, and artist. Read again or for the first time this masterpiece of 20th-century literature with new material by the author.
Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves the Club. A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, freewheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures.
A smart, funny classic about a young and beautiful American woman who moves to Paris determined to live life to the fullest.
The Dud Avocado follows the romantic and comedic adventures of a young American who heads overseas to conquer Paris in the late 1950s. Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was Elaine Dundy's Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking. Charming, sexy, and hilarious, The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status when it was first published and it remains a timeless portrait of a woman hell-bent on living.
I first read Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita on a balcony of the Hotel Metropole in Saigon on three summer evenings in 1971. The tropical air was heavy and full of the smells of cordite and motorcycle exhaust and rotting fish and wood-fire stoves, and the horizon flared ambiguously, perhaps from heat lightning, perhaps from bombs. Later each night, as was my custom, I would wander out into the steamy back alleys of the city, where no one ever seemed to sleep, and crouch in doorways with the people and listen to the stories of their culture and their ancestors and their ongoing lives. Bulgakov taught me to hear something in those stories that I had not yet clearly heard. One could call it, in terms that would soon thereafter gain wide currency, "magical realism." The deadpan mix of the fantastic and the realistic was at the heart of the Vietnamese mythos. It is at the heart of the present zeitgeist. And it was not invented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as wonderful as his One Hundred Years of Solitude is. Garcia Marquez's landmark work of magical realism was predated by nearly three decades by Bulgakov's brilliant masterpiece of a novel. That summer in Saigon a vodka-swilling, talking black cat, a coven of beautiful naked witches, Pontius Pilate, and a whole cast of benighted writers of Stalinist Moscow and Satan himself all took up permanent residence in my creative unconscious. Their presence, perhaps more than anything else from the realm of literature, has helped shape the work I am most proud of. I'm often asked for a list of favorite authors. Here is my advice. Read Bulgakov. Look around you at the new century. He will show you things you need to see.
The Third Policeman is Flann O'Brien's brilliantly dark comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botched robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where, through the theories of the scientist/philosopher de Selby, he is introduced to "Atomic Theory" and its relation to bicycles, the existence of eternity (which turns out to be just down the road), and de Selby's view that the earth is not round but "sausage-shaped." With the help of his newly found soul named "Joe, " he grapples with the riddles and contradictions that three eccentric policeman present to him.
The last of O'Brien's novels to be published, The Third Policeman joins O'Brien's other fiction (At Swim-Two-Birds, The Poor Mouth, The Hard Life, The Best of Myles, and The Dalkey Archive) to ensure his place, along with James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, as one of Ireland's great comic geniuses.
Longlist, 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, in the translation categoryFinalist, 2021 PROSE Award in the Literature Category Fifty rogue's tales translated fifty ways An itinerant con man. A gullible eyewitness narrator. Voices spanning continents and centuries. These elements come together in Impostures, a groundbreaking new translation of a celebrated work of Arabic literature. Impostures follows the roguish Abū Zayd al-Sarūjī in his adventures around the medieval Middle East--we encounter him impersonating a preacher, pretending to be blind, and lying to a judge. In every escapade he shows himself to be a brilliant and persuasive wordsmith, composing poetry, palindromes, and riddles on the spot. Award-winning translator Michael Cooperson transforms Arabic wordplay into English wordplay of his own, using fifty different registers of English, from the distinctive literary styles of authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Mark Twain, and Virginia Woolf, to global varieties of English including Cockney rhyming slang, Nigerian English, and Singaporean English. Featuring picaresque adventures and linguistic acrobatics, Impostures brings the spirit of this masterpiece of Arabic literature into English in a dazzling display of translation. An English-only edition.