Born into slavery and freed to become a force for justice, William Wells Brown (1814-1884) conjured up Clotel, the first novel attributed to an African-American writer. Alongside his nonfiction, the book speaks to questions about race and equality that still resonate today.
Curzio Malaparte's 1943 magically naturalistic novel charts the shifting fates of wartime Italy in a trenchant, hard-hitting fashion that balances the play of larger forces against affairs of the human heart.
Certain canonical authors and their creations are so beloved that any new bit of Holy Text relating to them arrives with the force of welcome revelation. Such is the case with Dashiell Hammett's two story treatments, written prior to the films that eventually bore the titles After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man. These novellas deliver with parsimonious stylishness all the detective thrills that a diehard fan of Nick and Nora Charles could want.
Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, retells fifty of his favorite stories by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in this collection, which pairs classics like "Cinderella" and "Rumpelstiltskin," "Rapunzel" and "Hansel and Gretel" with brief personal commentaries by Pullman that explore the sources of the tales and their everlasting appeal.
Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz wrote his first diary entry in 1952 while living abroad in Argentina and his last shortly before his death in 1969 in France. During the intervening seventeen years, the document grew from a chronicle of daily life into a vast collection of essays, short stories, confessions, and diatribes: one of the most brilliant and capacious works of the 20th century. Long out of print in English, it is collected here in a single, essential volume.