The Elephant's Journey - Jose Saramago

In THE ELEPHANT’S JOURNEY (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24) the late Nobel laureate José Saramago recreates an actual expedition undertaken in 1551 by Solomon the elephant, his keeper, and a large retinue of soldiers, porters, and nobles. The king of Portugal having decided to honor the Archduke of Austria’s wedding by bestowing on him an Asian elephant, the challenge lay in getting the gift to its recipient. This historical tidbit caught Saramago’s eye for the unlikely, and as his narrative retraces the trek from Lisbon to Vienna—which included an Alpine crossing in a blizzard—he fills in the factual interstices with his trademark musings on subjects as disparate as religion, social hierarchy, fate, the development of languages, and how animals think. By turns enchantingly whimsical and solidly realistic, this is a historical novel in the guise of fable. Or perhaps a fable under the cover of history.

The Elephant's Journey By José Saramago Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547574110
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 11th, 2011

Selected Stories - William Trevor

Think of the contemporary short story and a handful of names come to mind. Among the masters still at work, William Trevor, now in his eighties, continues to produce rich, impeccably crafted fiction. While everything he’s written in his long career is worth reading, the sheer volume of it (fourteen novels, twelve collections of stories) may overwhelm even the staunchest fans. So here is a manageable sampling of his shorter work. SELECTED STORIES (Viking, $35) gathers some 48 pieces from Trevor’s recent volumes After Rain, The Hill Bachelors, A Bit on the Side, and Cheating at Canasta. Set in small towns, rural areas of Ireland, the past, the present, these stories focus on ordinary people and their ordinary problems. But given Trevor’s patient, compassionate treatment, no one is really ordinary, and each joy, each struggle with love, loss, or loneliness is unique and valuable. 

Selected Stories By William Trevor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143115960
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2011

Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954-2008 - Nadine Gordimer

For over 50 years, the South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer has been contributing to the intellectual discourse on race, politics, and literature by creating characters in her stories and novels, and by focusing directly on the issues of the day in her essays and reviews. TELLING TIMES (W.W. Norton, $39.95), a collection of her nonfiction since 1954, shows her as an outspoken opponent of apartheid, while her fiction, such as the work gathered from all stages of her career in LIFE TIMES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30), presents the daily humiliations and dangers of trying to live within this crippling system. Gordimer’s immense insight, wisdom, and storytelling skills come through in every genre she writes. These two collections chart the growth and long career of a brilliant, world-class writer.

Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954-2008 By Nadine Gordimer Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393066289
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 28th, 2010