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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

New Direction Pearls


I'll admit it: both Rory and I have a little crush on New Directions Press. Not only do they do a wonderful job translating and publishing the beloved Bolano, but they also have this lovely little series called New Directions Pearls, which are, as implied, gems of stories, small and condensed and perfect unto themselves.


You can devour a Pearl in an hour or two, but will still find three or four brilliant lines within each text.

Take, for example, Javier Marias's contribution, a piece called Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico.
Within its more or less 50 pages, without giving anything away, here are some of my favourites:
"Back then, nobody was very suspicious, Kennedy hadn't been assassinated yet."
and
"I spent that whole eternal night with them..."

While some, like Bad Nature are novellas, others, like Tales of Desire by Tennessee Williams and Borges's Everything and Nothing offer a selection of short stories.

These little books have been translated and collected lovingly. It doesn't hurt that they are also beautiful and affordable. With titles from Cesar Aira, Yukio Mishima, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Joseph Roth, the New Directions Pearls let you access classics from North America, Japan, Austria-Hungary, Spain and Argentina.

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