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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Memories of the Future
Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Written in Soviet Moscow in the 1920s—but considered too subversive even to show to a publisher—the seven tales included here attest to Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's boundless imagination, black humor, and breathtaking irony: a man loses his way in the...
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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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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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Life Is Elsewhere
Milan Kundera
The author intially intended to call this noel, The Lyrical Age. The lyrical age, according to Kundera, is youth, and this novel, above all, is an epic of adolescence; an ironic epic that tenderly erodes scarosanct values: childhood, motherhood...
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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 Moor's Account
A Novel
Laila Lalami
From the widely praised author of Secret Son and Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits—a stunning piece of historical fiction: the imagined memoirs of the New World's first explorer of African descent, a Moroccan slave known as Estebanico.
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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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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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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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