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 Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Milan Kundera
In one of the finer modern ironies of the life-imitates-art sort, the country that Kundera seemed to be writing about when he talked about Czechoslovakia is, thanks to the latest political redefinitions, no longer precisely there. This kind of...
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Farewell Waltz
A Novel
Milan Kundera
In this dark farce of a novel, set in an old-fashioned Central Euroepean spa town, eight characters are swept up in an accelerating...
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Ignorance
A Novel
Milan Kundera
Irena and Josef meet by chance while returning to their homeland, which they had abandoned twenty years earlier. Will they manage to pick up the thread of their strange love story, interrupted almost as soon as it began and then lost in the tides of...
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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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Slowness
A Novel
Milan Kundera
After the gravity of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Immortality, Slowness comes as a surprise: it is certainly Kundera's lightest novel, a divertimento, with, as the author himself says, "not a single serious word in it."
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being
A Novel
Milan Kundera
A young woman is in love with a successful surgeon, a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing. His mistress, a free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals—while her other lover, earnest, faithful, and good...
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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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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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Desert
J. M. G. Le Clezio
The Swedish Academy, in awarding J.M.G. Le Clezio the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, praised Desert as Le Clezio's 'definitive breakthrough as a novelist.' Published in France in 1980, Desert received the Grand Prix Paul Morand from the Academie...
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The Vagrants
A Novel
Yiyun Li
In luminous prose, award-winning author Yiyun Li weaves together the lives of unforgettable characters who are forced to make moral choices, and choices for survival, in China in the late 1970s.  As morning dawns on the provincial city of Muddy...
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Foreign Legion
Stories and Chronicles
Clarice Lispector
Republication of the late Brazilian writer's 1964 collection of short stories and essays: the fiction is on the whole piercing and inquisitive. Like much of Lispector's work, the 13 stories collected here are autobiographical, with the author...
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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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