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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The Joke
Milan Kundera
All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now, a quarter century after The Joke was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak...
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being
A Novel
Milan Kundera
A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover -- these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. In a world in which lives...
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Beauty Is a Wound
A Novel
Eka Kurniawan
The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead.
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The Leopard
A Novel
Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Starts off like a pleasurable, tipsy picnic in the hot sun; like so many picnics, the mood sours into gorgeous despair. A novel to savor with wine in hand. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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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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Independent People
Halldor Laxness
This magnificent novel--which secured for its author the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature--is at last available to contemporary American readers. Although it is set in the early twentieth century, it recalls both Iceland's medieval epics...
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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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The Complete Stories
Clarice Lispector
Long-awaited and beautifully translated, Lispector's stories collected in their entirety read like an incantation commanding us into her charming and dreamy trance. Let each story bewitch you; there is simply no other way to experience this prose. —Recommended by Cassie, City Lights Books
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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 English (the two others published by City Lights), Manchette delivers a terse, immediate tale where Aimée deals the...
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The Gunman
A Novel
Jean-Patrick Manchette
Forget whatever you've read about the film. This is the darkest of dark noirs, in the tradition of Jim Thompson, and the last novel Manchette would publish before his early death. Every word Manchette wrote is worth your time, much as those of one of his predecessors in French minimalism, Georges Bernanos, is. —Recommended by Jeff, City Lights
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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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Sarajevo Blues
Semezdin Mehmedinovic
From one of Bosnia's most prominent poets and writers: spare and haunting stories and poems that were written under the horrific circumstances of the recent war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Semezdin Mehmedinovic remained a citizen of Sarajevo throughout...
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M'Hashish
Mohammed Mrabet
"Ah," said Hassan, "I don't believe in the world. There's another world where life is different." These are stories of that world. The word m'hashish (equivalent in Moghrebi of "behashished" or "full of hashish") is used only in a literal sense, but...

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