A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Short Stories of Primo Levi
A Hardback edition by Primo Levi in English (Apr 11, 2007)
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These seventeen stories, first published in Italian between 1949 and 1986, demonstrate Levi's extraordinary range, taking the reader from the primal resistance of a captured... Read more
These seventeen stories, first published in Italian between 1949 and 1986, demonstrate Levi's extraordinary range, taking the reader from the primal resistance of a captured partisan fighter to a middle-aged chemist experimenting with a new paint that wards off evil, to the lustful thoughts of an older man obsessed with a mysterious woman in a seaside villa. In the title story, Levi demonstrates his unerringly tragic understanding of the fragility of the universe through the tale of a pensive astronomer, terrified by the possibility that a long-dormant star might explode and reduce the entire planet to vapor. This remarkable new collection affirms Italo Calvino's conviction that Levi was "one of the most important and gifted writers of our time."
Primo Levi (1919-1987) was an Italian chemist and writer, best known for his memoirs If This Is a Man and The Periodic Table. Ann Goldstein, the translator of all of Elena Ferrante's novels, is an editor at The New Yorker and a recipient of a PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Alessandra Bastagli is the translator of Primo Levi's stories in A Tranquil Star and his essays in The Complete Works. She lives in New York.
A chemist by training, the author became one of the witnesses to twentieth-century atrocity. In these haunting reflections inspired by the elements of the periodic table, he ranges from young love to political savagery; from the inert gas argon - and 'inert' relatives like the uncle who stayed in bed for twenty-two years - to life-giving carbon.
Reveals the extraordinary lives of the Russian, Polish and Jewish partisans trapped behind enemy lines during the Second World War. Wracked by fear, hunger and fierce rivalries, they link up, fall apart, struggle to stay alive and to sabotage the efforts of the all-powerful German army.
Primo Levi's account of life as a concentration camp prisoner falls into two parts. Probing the themes which preoccupy all his writing - work love, power, the nature of things, what it is to be human - he leaves the reader drained, elated, apprehensive.
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