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Runaway Horses

Runaway Horses
Author: Yukio Mishima
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0099282895
Pages: 421
Year: 2000
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The second book in Mishima's landmark The Sea of Fertility sequence, this is the chronicle of a conspiracy, a novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war.

The View From Castle Rock

The View From Castle Rock
Author: Alice Munro
Publisher: Douglas Gibson Books
ISBN: 155199271X
Pages: 368
Year: 2008-11-19
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A new collection of stories by Alice Munro is always a major event. This new collection — her most personal to date — is no exception. Alice Munro’s stories are always wonderful and so ingrained with truths about life that readers always want to know where they came from. In this book, Alice Munro tells us. In her Foreword (an unusual feature in itself), she explains how she, born Alice Laidlaw in Ontario, in recent years became interested in the history of her Laidlaw ancestors. Starting in the wilds of the Scottish Borders, she learned a great deal about a famous ancestor, born around 1700, who, as his tombstone records, “for feats of frolic, agility and strength, had no equal in his day.” She traced the family’s history with the help of that man’s nephew, the famous writer James Hogg, finding to her delight that each generation of the family had produced a writer who wanted to record what had befallen them. In this way, she was able to follow the family’s voyage to Canada in 1818, and their hard times as pioneers — once a father dies on the same day that a daughter is born in the same frontier cabin. “I put all this material together over the years,” Alice tells us, “and almost without my noticing what was happening, it began to shape itself, here and there, into something almost like stories. Some of the characters gave themselves to me in their own words, others rose out of their situations.” As the book goes down through the generations, we come to Robert Laidlaw, Alice’s father, and then, at the book’s heart, the stories become first-person stories, set during her lifetime. So is this a memoir? No. She drew on personal experiences, “but then I did anything I wanted to with this material, because the chief thing I was doing was making a story.” The resulting collection of stories range from the title story — where through a haze of whiskey Alice’s ancestors gaze north from Edinburgh Castle at the Fife coast, believing that it is North America — all the way to the final story, where we travel with “Alice Munro” today. In the author’s words, these stories “pay more attention to the truth of a life than fiction usually does. But not enough to swear on.” All of them are Alice Munro stories. There could be no higher praise. From the Hardcover edition.

Family Furnishings

Family Furnishings
Author: Alice Munro
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101874112
Pages: 640
Year: 2014-11-11
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From the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature—and one of our most beloved writers—a new selection of her peerless short fiction, gathered from the collections of the last two decades, a companion volume to Selected Stories (1968-1994). Family Furnishings brings us twenty-four of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. Subtly honed with her hallmark precision, grace, and compassion, these stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world. Peopled with characters as real to us as we are to ourselves, Munro’s stories encompass the fullness of human experience—from the wild exhilaration of first love, in “Passion,” to the lengths a once-straying husband will go to make his wife happy as her memory fades, in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Other stories suggest the punishing consequences of leaving home (“Runaway”) or leaving a marriage (“The Children Stay”). The part romantic love plays in one’s existence is explored in “Too Much Happiness,” based on the life of the noted nineteenth-century mathematician, Sophia Kovalevsky. And in stories that Munro has described as “closer to the truth than usual”—“Dear Life,” “Working for a Living,” and “Home” among them—we glimpse the author’s own life. As the Nobel Prize presentation speech says in part: “Reading one of Alice Munro’s texts is like watching a cat walk across a laid dinner table. A brief short story can often cover decades, summarizing a life, as she moves deftly between different periods. No wonder Alice Munro is often able to say more in thirty pages than an ordinary novelist is capable of in three hundred. She is a virtuoso of the elliptical and the master of the contemporary short story.” From the Hardcover edition.

Vintage Munro

Vintage Munro
Author: Alice Munro
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101872411
Pages: 224
Year: 2014-04-22
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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions. “In Munro’s hands, as in Chekhov’s, a short story is more than big enough to hold the world—and to astonish us again and again.” —Chicago Tribune In an unbroken procession of brilliant, revelatory short stories, Alice Munro has unfolded the wordless secrets that lie at the heart of all human experience. She has won three Governor General’s Literary Awards in her native Canada, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Vintage Munro includes stories from throughout her career: The title stories from her collections The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; “Differently,” from Selected Stories, and “Carried Away,” from Open Secrets.

Spring Snow

Spring Snow
Author: Yukio Mishima
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030783431X
Pages: 400
Year: 2013-04-09
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Yukio Mishima’s Spring Snow is the first novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Here we meet Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae. It is 1912 in Tokyo, and the hermetic world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders — rich provincial families unburdened by tradition, whose money and vitality make them formidable contenders for social and political power. Shigekuni Honda, an aspiring lawyer and his childhood friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae, are the sons of two such families. As they come of age amidst the growing tensions between old and new, Kiyoaki is plagued by his simultaneous love for and loathing of the spirited young woman Ayakura Satoko. But Kiyoaki’s true feelings only become apparent when her sudden engagement to a royal prince shows him the magnitude of his passion — and leads to a love affair both doomed and inevitable. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
Author: Alice Munro
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 1551993953
Pages: 336
Year: 2011-05-25
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As always, Alice Munro surprises us. While the nine stories in this new collection could not be written by anyone else, they are subtly different. The title story, for example, ranges from small-town Ontario just after the war to a near-deserted hotel on the bald Saskatchewan prairie. The setting may be strange, uncharted Munro territory, but the plot is familiar, with two lives changed forever by a random act of mischief that can never be revealed. “Floating Bridge” is also a typical Alice Munro story, but different. Forty-two-year-old Jinny is fighting cancer, and the front room in their middle-class home is turned into a sickroom. Her husband hires a girl to look after her, and they visit the girl’s trailer park relatives. Class tensions are exposed (“You know you’ll hurt their feelings,” he whispered. “They’re trying to be nice to you.”), and then something both unbelievable and totally believable happens to conclude the story in a way the reader will never forget. Other stories contain lines that change the world. A promisingly flirtatious reunion with a teenage sweetheart, now married, takes an unexpected turn. (“About our youngest boy,” he said. “Our youngest boy was killed last summer.” Oh. “He was run over,” he said. “I was the one who ran over him. Backing out of our driveway.” I stopped again. He stopped with me. Both of us stared ahead. “His name was Brian. He was three.”) In this great book by one of the world’s great writers, the settings may be Vancouver Island, small-town Ontario, Toronto, or Vancouver, but the stories are universal, and the characters – no, the people in the stories – are unforgettable. From the Hardcover edition.

Philida

Philida
Author: Andre Brink
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345805046
Pages: 320
Year: 2013-02-05
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This is what it is to be a slave: that everything is decided for you from out there. You just got to listen and do as they tell you. You don’t say no. You don’t ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far at the back of your head you think: Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall not. In Philida, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, André Brink—“one of South Africa's greatest novelists” (The Telegraph)—gives us his most powerful novel yet; the truly unforgettable story of a female slave, and her fierce determination to survive and to be free. It is 1832 in South Africa, the year before slavery is abolished and the slaves are emancipated. Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. When Francois’s father orders him to marry a woman from a prominent Cape Town family, Francois reneges on his promise to give Philida her freedom, threatening instead to sell her to new owners in the harsh country up north. Here is the remarkable story—based on individuals connected to the author’s family—of a fiercely independent woman who will settle for nothing and for no one. Unwilling to accept the future that lies ahead of her, Philida continues to test the limits and lodges a complaint against the Brink family. Then she sets off on a journey—from the southernmost reaches of the Cape, across a great wilderness, to the far north of the country—in order to reclaim her soul. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Beloved

Beloved
Author: Toni Morrison
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030738862X
Pages: 352
Year: 2007-07-24
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Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

Five Modern No Plays

Five Modern No Plays
Author: Yukio Mishima
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307473112
Pages: 198
Year: 2009
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The classic Japanese No drama is one of the great art forms. Mishima has infused new life into the form by adopting it for plays that preserve the style and inner spirit of No while at the same time creating dramas that are contemporary and relevant.

Requiem for a Nun

Requiem for a Nun
Author: William Faulkner
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307792447
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-05-18
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The sequel to Faulkner’s most sensational novel Sanctuary, was written twenty years later but takes up the story of Temple Drake eight years after the events related in Sanctuary. Temple is now married to Gowan Stevens. The book begins when the death sentence is pronounced on the nurse Nancy for the murder of Temple and Gowan’s child. In an attempt to save her, Temple goes to see the judge to confess her own guilt. Told partly in prose, partly in play form, Requiem for a Nun is a haunting exploration of the impact of the past on the present.

The Secret Life of Genius

The Secret Life of Genius
Author: John Chambers
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1594779260
Pages: 336
Year: 2009-06-25
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A look at the metaphysical experiences that shaped the lives and work of 24 great men and women from the Renaissance to modern times • Chronicles the changing relationship with God, nature, and spirituality from the 16th century to the 20th century • Includes encounters with the paranormal of Ben Johnson, Isaac Newton, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy, Doris Lessing, and Winston Churchill What role did the esoteric thought of Swedenborg play in the creative output of Honoré de Balzac? Did a supernatural encounter prompt Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to focus her work on the theme of immortality? Building on his earlier research on communications with the spirit world that Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables, experienced while in exile on the isle of Jersey, John Chambers now looks at the role occult knowledge and supernatural experiences played in the lives of 24 geniuses. His investigation spans the life and work of William Blake, Helena Blavatsky, and W. B. Yeats, whose esoteric interests are well known, as well as those little suspected of such encounters with worlds beyond ours, including Doris Lessing, Leo Tolstoy, Norman Mailer, Yukio Mishima, and Winston Churchill. Chambers presents more than a collection of anecdotes and newly revealed secrets. His research provides insightful historical context of the decisive turning point that took place with the collapse of Prague, the occult capital of Europe, in 1620, which resulted in the victory of Cartesian reality and Newton’s scientific paradigm over the esoteric traditions that flourished until that time. The magical and occult world shown in the lives of these 24 great men and women offers us a glimpse of what could still be ours--a world that though it is now overshadowed by modern scientific and technological principles is yet still visible on the horizon through the visions and paranormal experiences of these geniuses.

Runaway

Runaway
Author: Alice Munro
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307427544
Pages: 352
Year: 2007-12-18
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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 This acclaimed, bestselling collection also contains the celebrated stories that inspired the Pedro Almodóvar film Julieta. Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. In Munro’s hands, the people she writes about–women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children–become as vivid as our own neighbors. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Border Trilogy

The Border Trilogy
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1509852026
Pages: 1056
Year: 2018-07-12
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With an introduction by Rachael KushnerIn the vanishing world of the Old West, two cowboys begin an epic adventure, and their own coming-of-age stories. In All the Pretty Horses, John Grady Cole's search for a future takes him across the Mexican border to a job as a ranch hand and an ill-fated romance. The Crossing is the story of sixteen-year-old Billy Parham who sets off on a perilous journey across the mountains of Mexico, accompanied only by a lone wolf. Eventually the two come together in Cities of the Plain, in a stunning tale of loyalty and love. A true classic of American literature, The Border Trilogy is Cormac McCarthy's award-winning requiem for the American frontier. Beautiful and brutal, filled equally with sorrow and humour, it is a powerful story of two friends growing up in a world where blood and violence are conditions of life.

Runaway Horses

Runaway Horses
Author: Yukio Mishima
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307834301
Pages: 432
Year: 2013-04-09
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Yukio Mishima’s Runaway Horses is the second novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Again we encounter Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his childhood friend Kiyoaki Matsugae. In 1932, Shigeuki Honda has become a judge in Osaka. Convinced that a young rightist revolutionary, Isao, is the reincarnation of his friend Kiyoaki, Honda commits himself to saving the youth from an untimely death. Isao, driven to patriotic fanaticism by a father who instilled in him the ethos of the ancient samurai, organizes a violent plot against the new industrialists who he believes are usurping the Emperor’s rightful power and threatening the very integrity of the nation. Runaway Horses is the chronicle of a conspiracy — a novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Dear Life

Dear Life
Author: Alice Munro
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307961044
Pages: 336
Year: 2012-11-13
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WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE© IN LITERATURE 2013 A New York Times Notable Book A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction A Best Book of the Year: The Atlantic, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, AV Club In story after story in this brilliant new collection, Alice Munro pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken, or a simple twist of fate. Her characters are flawed and fully human: a soldier returning from war and avoiding his fiancée, a wealthy woman deciding whether to confront a blackmailer, an adulterous mother and her neglected children, a guilt-ridden father, a young teacher jilted by her employer. Illumined by Munro’s unflinching insight, these lives draw us in with their quiet depth and surprise us with unexpected turns. And while most are set in her signature territory around Lake Huron, some strike even closer to home: an astonishing suite of four autobiographical tales offers an unprecedented glimpse into Munro’s own childhood. Exalted by her clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, Dear Life shows how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.

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