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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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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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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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 Periodic Table
Primo Levi
Writer Primo Levi (1919-1987), an Italian Jew, did not come to the wide attention of the English-reading audience until the last years of his life. A survivor of the Holocaust and imprisonment in Auschwitz, Levi is considered to be one of the...
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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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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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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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Suspended Sentences
Patrick Modiano
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Each novella in the volume—Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin—represents a sterling example...
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Senselessness
Horacio Castellanos Moya
Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books A Rainmaker Translation Grant Winner from the Black Mountain Institute: Senselessness, acclaimed Salvadoran author Horacio Castallanos Moya's astounding debut in English, explores horror with hilarity...
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The She-Devil in the Mirror
Horacio Castellanos Moya
Salvadorean society is shocked by the gruesome murder of a young upper-class woman, and no one more so than her best friend Laura. In her first-person solo narration, Laura rattles on and on about her disbelief and horror at the evils all around...

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