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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Author: Milan Kundera
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060597186
Pages: 320
Year: 2004-05-04
When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in English, it was hailed as "a work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness" by critic Elizabeth Hardwick and named one of the best books of 1984 by the New York Times Book Review. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and quickly became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, the novel has established itself as a modern classic. To commemorate the anniversary of its first English-language publication, HarperCollins is proud to offer a special hardcover edition. 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. Controlled by day, Tereza's jealousy awakens by night, transformed into ineffably sad death-dreams, while Tomas, a successful surgeon, alternates loving devotion to the dependent Tereza with the ardent pursuit of other women. Sabina, an independent, free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals -- of parents, husband, country, love itself -- whereas her lover, the intellectual Franz, loses all because of his earnest goodness and fidelity. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence we feel, says the novelist, "the unbearable lightness of being" -- not only as the consequence of our private acts but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine. This magnificent novel encompasses the extremes of comedy and tragedy, and embraces, it seems, all aspects of human existence. It juxtaposes geographically distant places (Prague, Geneva, Paris, Thailand, the United States, a forlorn Bohemian village); brilliant and playful reflections (on "eternal return," on kitsch, on man and animals -- Tomas and Tereza have a beloved doe named Karenin); and a variety of styles (from the farcical to the elegiac) to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world's truly great writers.
Slowness

Slowness

Author: Milan Kundera
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060928417
Pages: 176
Year: 1997-04-11
Milan Kundera's lightest novel, a divertimento, an opera buffa, Slowness is also the first of this author's fictional works to have been written in French. Disconcerted and enchanted, the reader follows the narrator of Slowness through a midsummer's night in which two tales of seduction, separated by more than two hundred years, interweave and oscillate between the sublime and the comic. Underlying this libertine fantasy is a profound meditation on contemporary life: about the secret bond between slowness and memory, about the connection between our era's desire to forget and the way we have given ourselves over to the demon of speed. And about "dancers" possessed by the passion to be seen, for whom life is merely a perpetual show emptied of every intimacy and every joy.
The JOKE

The JOKE

Author: Milan Kundera
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 006099505X
Pages: 336
Year: 1993-02-26
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 regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favor of valuing the book (and all Kundera 's work) as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence. The present edition provides English-language readers an important further means toward revaluation of The Joke. For reasons he describes in his Author's Note, Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating (with the assistance of his American publisher-editor) a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can: reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel's narrators. The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic.
The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101594608
Pages: 167
Year: 2012-06-13
The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self-knowledge.
Passing

Passing

Author: Nella Larsen
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486113469
Pages: 112
Year: 2012-03-05
Married to a successful physician and prominently ensconced in society, Irene Redfield leads a charmed existence — until a chance encounter with a childhood friend who has been "passing for white."
Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera

Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101911115
Pages: 368
Year: 2014-10-15
AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN eBOOK! In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Author: Milan Kundera
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060932147
Pages: 320
Year: 1999-04-07
Rich in its stories, characters, and imaginative range, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the novel that brought Milan Kundera his first big international success in the late 1970s. Like all his work, it is valuable for far more than its historical implications. In seven wonderfully integrated parts, different aspects of human existence are magnified and reduced, reordered and emphasized, newly examined, analyzed, and experienced.
Identity

Identity

Author: Milan Kundera
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060930314
Pages: 176
Year: 1999-04-21
There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with, in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own. This also happens with couples--indeed, above all with couples, because lovers fear more than anything else "losing sight" of the loved one. With stunning artfulness in expanding and playing variations on the meaningful moment, Milan Kundera has made this situation--and the vague sense of panic it inspires--the very fabric of his new novel. Here brevity goes hand in hand with intensity, and a moment of bewilderment marks the start of a labyrinthine journey during which the reader repeatedly crosses the border between the real and the unreal, between what occurs in the world outside and what the mind creates in its solitude. Of all contemporary writers, only Kundera can transform such a hidden and disconcerting perception into the material for a novel, one of his finest, most painful, and most enlightening. Which, surprisingly, turns out to be a love story.
Stasiland

Stasiland

Author: Anna Funder
Publisher: Odyssey Editions
ISBN: 1623730376
Pages: 306
Year: 2015-10-29
Stasiland tells true stories of people who heroically resisted the communist dictatorship of East Germany, and of people who worked for its secret police, the Stasi. Internationally hailed as a classic, it is ‘fascinating, entertaining, hilarious, horrifying and very important’ (Tom Hanks) and ‘a heartbreaking, beautifully written book.’ (Claire Tomalin). East Germany was one of the most intrusive surveillance states of all time. One in 7 people spied on their friends, family and colleagues. In ‘the most humane and sensitive way’ (J.M. Coetzee) Funder tells the true stories of four people who had the extraordinary courage to refuse to collaborate with the Stasi, and the price they paid. She meets Miriam Weber, who was imprisoned at 16 after scaling the Berlin Wall. She drinks with the legendary “Mik Jegger” of the Eastern Bloc who was ‘disappeared’. And she finds former Stasi men who defend their regime long past its demise, and yearn for the second coming of Communism. Stasiland won the Samuel Johnson Prize for best non-fiction published in English in 2004. It was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the W.H. Heinemann Award, the Index Freedom of Expression Awards, The Age Book of the Year Awards, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature (Innovation in Writing). It is read in schools and universities in many countries, and has been adapted for CD and the stage by The National Theatre, London.
The Curtain

The Curtain

Author: Milan Kundera
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060841958
Pages: 176
Year: 2007-12-26
“A magic curtain, woven of legends, hung before the world. Cervantes sent Don Quixote journeying and tore through the curtain. The world opened before the knight-errant in all the comical nakedness of its prose.” In this thought-provoking, endlessly enlightening, and entertaining essay on the art of the novel, renowned author Milan Kundera suggests that “the curtain” represents a ready-made perception of the world that each of us has—a pre-interpreted world. The job of the novelist, he argues, is to rip through the curtain and reveal what it hides. Here an incomparable literary artist cleverly sketches out his personal view of the history and value of the novel in Western civilization. In doing so, he celebrates a prose form that possesses the unique ability to transcend national and language boundaries in order to reveal some previously unknown aspect of human existence.
Unbearable Lightness

Unbearable Lightness

Author: Portia de Rossi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1849835276
Pages: 320
Year: 2011-03-03
"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Although there was a certain glamour to anorexics, I didn't want to be one. I just wanted to excel in dieting. And weighing in at 80 pounds on 300 calories a day, I was the best little dieter there ever was." In scalding prose, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades. She alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and lying to herself and everyone around her about the depth of her illness. From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to health and happiness, ultimately falling head over heels in love with Ellen DeGeneres. In this remarkable and landmark book, she tells a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.
Fiela's Child

Fiela's Child

Author: Dalene Matthee
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
ISBN: 0143027581
Pages: 288
Year: 2012-10-02
A child wanders too far into the Knysna Forest ... he never returns. Nine years later government officials working on a census find a white child living with a Coloured family in the mountains beyond the forest. They take him away from the stricken Fiela, who has brought him up as her son, and give him back to his 'original' family. Stunned and helpless, Benjamin waits for Fiela to reclaim him. But, powerless against authority, Fiela never comes. Benjamin has to grow up before he can go in search of the truth ...
The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel

Author: Ann Hood
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393253848
Pages: 384
Year: 2016-08-09
An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets, friendship, and the healing power of literature, by the bestselling author of The Knitting Circle. Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
The Bohemians

The Bohemians

Author: Ben Tarnoff
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0143126962
Pages: 336
Year: 2015-02-24
1860s San Francisco. The Gold Rush has ended; the Civil War threatens to tear apart the country. The bards of the moment are the Bohemians: a young Mark Twain, fleeing the draft and seeking adventure; literary golden boy Bret Harte; struggling gay poet Charles Warren Stoddard; and beautiful, haunted Ina Coolbrith, poet and protectorate of the group. Ben Tarnoff's elegant, atmospheric history reveals how these four pioneering western writers would together create a new American literature, unfettered by the heavy European influence that dominated the East.
The Psychic Life of Power

The Psychic Life of Power

Author: Judith Butler
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804728127
Pages: 218
Year: 1997
Judith Butler's new book considers the way in which psychic life is generated by the social operation of power, and how that social operation of power is concealed and fortified by the psyche that it produces. It combines social theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis in novel ways, and offers a more sustained analysis of the theory of subject formation implicit in her previous books.