Fiction from Around the World
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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Points of Departure
New Stories from Mexico
Gustavo Segade, Mónica Lavin
These seventeen stories represent the best of the generation of Mexican writers born in the 50s and 60s. Magical realism and exoticism are nowhere to be found in this collection of sophisticated, very contemporary stories. Rather, the surreal...
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Iceland's Bell
Halldor Laxness
Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, Iceland’s Bell by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an...
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The Gangster We Are All Looking For
Thi Diem Thuy Le
Recommended by Tan, City Lights Books: this acclaimed novel reveals the life of a Vietnamese family in America through the knowing eyes of a child finding her place and voice in a new country.
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Electrico W
Hervé Le Tellier
By the celebrated Oulipo writer, this brilliant and witty novel set in Lisbon explores love, relationships, and the strange balance between literature and life. Journalist, writer, and translator Vincent Balmer moves to Lisbon to escape from a failing affair. During his first assignment there, he teams up with Antonio—a photographer who has just...
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The Sextine Chapel
Hervé Le Tellier
An interconnected series of playful stories on the expected and unexpected pleasures of sexual intimacy. The delightful and daring English-language debut of French author Hervé le Tellier is a series of short, intimately interconnected stories making up a lively user's manual to pleasure, relating the various liaisons of couples from...
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Dissident Gardens
A Novel
Jonathan Lethem
A dazzling novel from one of our finest writers—an epic yet intimate family saga about three generations of all-American radicals. At the center of Jonathan Lethem's superb new novel stand two extraordinary women: Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist who savages neighbors, family, and...
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Christ Stopped at Eboli
The Story of a Year
Carlo Levi
A genuinely wonderful portrait of a place (southern Italy) and its people: vividly rendered, humane, and surprising. —Recommended by Matt, City Lights Books
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If Not Now, When?
Primo Levi
In the final days of World War II, a courageous band of Jewish partisans makes its way from Russia to Italy, moving toward the ultimate goal of Palestine. Based on a true story, If Not Now, When? chronicles their adventures as they wage a personal war...
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Água Viva
A Novel
Clarice Lispector
Lispector at her most philosophically radical. A meditation on the nature of life and time, Água Viva (1973) shows Lispector discovering a new means of writing about herself, more deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry. In a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically profound as...
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LoveStar
A Novel
Andri Snaer Magnason
Andri Magnason's wild dystopia is a sadly recognizable world in which people become walking ads, "social media" in real life, droning brand name bargains at passers-by. Everyone is tapped, their actions quantified, and relationships calculated...
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Fatale
Jean-Patrick Manchette
Aimée Joubert, the central character in Fatale, is a matter-of-fact businesswoman killer. In only his third novel translated into Englisg (the two others published by City Lights), Manchette delivers a terse, immediate tale where Aimée deals the...
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The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann
In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal...
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Sealed in Stone
Toni Maraini
Set in the 15th century just after the Hundred Years' War, this historical novel of ideas traces the intersecting lives of a Turkish adventurer, an idealistic Lombard revolutionary, an intellectual heretic from Bohemia, and a woman disappointed in...
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The Back Room
Carmen Martín Gaite
In the middle of the night, a woman awakens to find a stranger in her bedroom. Though she cannot determine who he is--or, indeed, whether he is even real at all and not just an extension of her dreams or her writing–she is drawn into a conversation...

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