Riccardin dal ciuffo
Author: Amélie Nothomb
Strike Your Heart
Author: Amélie Nothomb
Publisher: Europa Editions UK
The most destructive mechanisms of the soul, laid bare. Marie is the prettiest girl in her provincial hometown and is dating the most popular boy in town. She is the envy of all her schoolmates and she loves it. When she falls pregnant and gives birth to Diana, things change. Diana steals the hearts of all who meet her, inciting nothing but jealousy in her mother. This is Diana’s story. The story of a young, brilliant woman who grows up without maternal affection. It is the story of Diana’s relationships with other women: her best friend, the sweet Elisabeth; her mentor, the selfish Olivia; her sister, the beloved Célia; and, of course, her mother. It is a story about the baser sentiments that often animate human relations: rivalry, jealousy, distrust. With her trademark wit, brevity, and tightly wound plots, Nothomb has devised a telling adult fable about human relationships and the mother-daughter bond.
“Why must pleasure always have a price? And why must one always pay for sensual delight with the loss of original lightness?” Amélie is a young language teacher living in Tokyo. When she succumbs to the attentions of her one and only student—the shy, wealthy, and oh-so-Japanese Rinri—the lovers-to-be find themselves swept along by an affair that is as unusual as it is tender. This is a new kind of love story that pits a woman’s desire for companionship against her strong sense of individual identity. In its exploration of contemporary themes—the confidence of independence, the possibility of love as a form of limitation—Tokyo Fiancée foregoes conventions to create a compelling image of love for the contemporary woman, an anti-Prince-Charming story that is an antidote to traditional romantic fables. The author brings humor, intelligence, and a refreshing honesty to this highly autobiographical work. Her storytelling appeals to those who feel that their own immediate and personal sense of love is seldom adequately represented in popular fiction. This splendid novel offers readers a quietly revolutionary vision of romantic love.
A Wild Swan
Author: Michael Cunningham
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Fairy tales for our times from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away—the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder—are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation. Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother's basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans. Reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.
The Book of Proper Names
Author: Amelie Nothomb
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The Book of Proper Names is set in contemporary Paris, its main character an orphan named Plectrude. Before the child's birth her nineteen-year-old mother shoots and kills her nineteen-year-old (and somewhat feckless) father because she hates the names he's devised for their child--she fears they will doom their unborn child to mediocrity. The mother confesses openly to what she has done, and why. She is arrested and thrown into prison, where she gives birth to the child, names her, to everyone's bafflement, Plectrude--an obscure saint, and an albatross of a name--and then hangs herself. The novel therefore begins on the borderline between tragedy and absurdity, but as Plectrude grows--raised by a loving, indulgent, and eccentric aunt--it becomes a deeply moving and simultaneously chilling portrait of girlhood. Plectrude's great gift turns out to be for ballet, and she throws herself into dance as if her life depended upon it. Few novels have shown us the implacable and unforgiving world of ballet with more intuitive sympathy, yet also with a keen-eyed assessment of the true price of artistic perfection.. Inevitably, the doom hovering over Plectrude's life from birth returns to haunt her, and in the end she learns to survive in the only way she knows how--by committing an act of deadly self-preservation her mother would have perhaps understood best. The Book of Proper Names is vintage Amelie Nothomb--alternatively mordant and poignant, a portrait of adolescence that is fierce and funny at the same time. There is nothing mediocre either about Nothomb nor her creations.
In the third book in the New York Times bestselling series by Chris Colfer, the Brothers Grimm have a warning for the Land of Stories. Conner Bailey thinks his fairy-tale adventures are behind him--until he discovers a mysterious clue left by the famous Brothers Grimm. With help from his classmate Bree and the outlandish Mother Goose, Conner sets off on a mission across Europe to crack a two-hundred-year-old code. Meanwhile, Alex Bailey is training to become the next Fairy Godmother...but her attempts at granting wishes never go as planned. Will she ever be truly ready to lead the Fairy Council? When all signs point to disaster for the Land of Stories, Conner and Alex must join forces with their friends and enemies to save the day. But nothing can prepare them for the coming battle...or for the secret that will change the twins' lives forever. The third book in the bestselling Land of Stories series puts the twins to the test as they must bring two worlds together!
The Character of Rain
Author: Amelie Nothomb
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The Japanese believe that until the age of three, children, whether Japanese or not, are gods, each one an okosama, or "lord child." On their third birthday they fall from grace and join the rest of the human race. In Amelie Nothomb's new novel, The Character of Rain, we learn that divinity is a difficult thing from which to recover, particularly if, like the child in this story, you have spent the first tow and a half years of life in a nearly vegetative state. "I remember everything that happened to me after the age of two and one-half," the narrator tells us. She means this literally. Once jolted out of her plant-like , tube-like trance (to the ecstatic relief of her concerned parents), the child bursts into existence, absorbing everything that Japan, where her father works as a diplomat, has to offer. Life is an unfolding pageant of delight and danger, a ceaseless exploration of pleasure and the limits of power. Most wondrous of all is the discovery of water: oceans, seas, pools, puddles, streams, ponds, and, perhaps most of all, rain-one meaning of the Japanese character for her name. Hers is an amphibious life. The Character of Rain evokes the hilarity, terror, and sanctity of childhood. As she did in the award-winning, international bestesller Fear and Trembling, Nothomb grounds the novel in the outlines of her experiences in Japan, but the self-portrait that emerges from these pages is hauntingly universal. Amelie Nothomb's novels are unforgettable immersion experiences, leaving you both holding your breath with admiration, your lungs aching, and longing for more.
Album di vestiti
Author: Paola Masino
Publisher: LIT EDIZIONI
Album di vestiti, scritto a mano da Paola Masino tra il ’58 e il ’63 nei quaderni di scuola usati per i suoi Appunti, è rimasto fino a oggi un libro inedito e segreto. È una straordinaria sorpresa nella narrativa di una scrittrice che aveva sempre rifiutato il racconto di sé: Album di vestiti presenta infatti un’originale autobiografia, narrata seguendo, per divagazioni e intermittenze, il ricordo degli abiti indossati. Sono le memorie di una donna non condizionata dai propri vestiti, ma creatrice euforica e appassionata del suo abbigliamento. Un libro leggero ma non frivolo, che costruisce anche l’affresco di un’epoca e di un ambiente in prima persona, accanto ad altri protagonisti – i familiari, Bontempelli, Pirandello – e a una serie di personaggi minori, famosi e non. Ma i veri protagonisti sono gli abiti, che riemergono vividi dalla memoria e che avanzano a loro piacimento sulla pagina, rappresentando con orgoglio e allegria la creazione di uno stile inconfondibile.
Mary Lennox ha dieci anni: è viziata, bruttina e dispotica. I genitori non si sono mai occupati di lei, così, dopo la loro morte e un’infanzia difficile trascorsa in India, Mary approda in Inghilterra per essere affidata alle cure dello zio Archibald, un vedovo scontroso che vive in un castello isolato. Qui, in compagnia di Colin – il giovane e viziato cugino che si crede malato – e di Dickon – un ragazzo semplice e d’animo gentile capace di incantare gli animali con il suo flauto – inizia a ritrovare il piacere del gioco e dell’amicizia, e a riscoprire gli effetti benefici della natura... La casa dello zio Archibald è molto spaziosa, ma Mary ha il divieto di entrare in alcune stanze, e c’è anche un giardino proibito chiuso a chiave, quello della defunta moglie dello zio. L’affetto profondo per i suoi nuovi amici e la voglia di trasformare la realtà circostante insegneranno a Mary che i poteri magici sono alla portata di tutti e possono fare veri miracoli.
Fear and Trembling
Author: Amelie Nothomb
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
According to ancient Japanese protocol, foreigners deigning to approach the emperor did so only with fear and trembling. Terror and self-abasement conveyed respect. Amélie, our well-intentioned and eager young Western heroine, goes to Japan to spend a year working at the Yumimoto Corporation. Returning to the land where she was born is the fulfillment of a dream for Amélie; working there turns into comic nightmare. Alternately disturbing and hilarious, unbelievable and shatteringly convincing, Fear and Trembling will keep readers clutching tight to the pages of this taut little novel, caught up in the throes of fear, trembling, and, ultimately, delight.
Author: Zygmunt Bauman, Leonidas Donskis
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
There is nothing new about evil; it has been with us since time immemorial. But there is something new about the kind of evil that characterizes our contemporary liquid-modern world. The evil that characterized earlier forms of solid modernity was concentrated in the hands of states claiming monopolies on the means of coercion and using the means at their disposal to pursue their ends ends that were at times horrifically brutal and barbaric. In our contemporary liquid-modern societies, by contrast, evil has become altogether more pervasive and at the same time less visible. Liquid evil hides in the seams of the canvass woven daily by the liquid-modern mode of human interaction and commerce, conceals itself in the very tissue of human cohabitation and in the course of its routine and day-to-day reproduction. Evil lurks in the countless black holes of a thoroughly deregulated and privatized social space in which cutthroat competition and mutual estrangement have replaced cooperation and solidarity, while forceful individualization erodes the adhesive power of inter-human bonds. In its present form evil is hard to spot, unmask and resist. It seduces us by its ordinariness and then jumps out without warning, striking seemingly at random. The result is a social world that is comparable to a minefield: we know it is full of explosives and that explosions will happen sooner or later but we have no idea when and where they will occur. In this new book, the sequel to their acclaimed work Moral Blindness Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis guide the reader through this new terrain in which evil has become both more ordinary and more insidious, threatening to strip humanity of its dreams, alternative projects and powers of dissent at the very time when they are needed most.
Author: Polly Samson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
He followed her eyes skyward to a bird that was falling, turning and turning, like a heart that had leapt free. It fell, and as it did it became a falcon. He was transfixed. Julian's fall begins the moment he sets eyes on Julia. Julia is married and eight years his senior; he is a gifted English student, a life of academia ahead. Ignoring warnings from family and friends, they each give up all they have to be together. Their new life in London offers immense happiness, especially after their longed-for daughter Mira is born. When Julian hears that Firdaws, his adored boyhood home, is for sale, he sets out to recreate a lost paradise for his new family. Once again, love blinds him. It is only when Mira becomes terrifyingly ill that it is impossible for Julia to conceal from him the explosive secret that she has been keeping at the heart of their lives. Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Polly Samson's second novel explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal that is clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal, and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told.