This book features people from one of the most closed countries of today's world, where the passage of time resembles the passage of a caravan through the waterless desert. This world has been recreated by a true-born son of that mysterious country, a Turkmen who, at the will of fate, has now been living for a quarter of a century in snowy Scandinavia. Is that not why two different worlds come together in Ryazan horseradish and Tula gingerbread, to come apart in Love in Lilac, in which a student from the non-free world falls in love with a girl from the West?
In the story Death of the Snake Catcher, an old snake catcher meets one on one with a giant cobra in the heart of the desert. In the dialogue between them the author unveils the age-old interdependence of Man and untamed nature, where the fear and mistrust of the strong and the hopes and apprehensions of the weak change places but co-exist as ever. Egyptian night of fear, in which a boy goes to an Eastern bazaar and falls into the clutches of depraved forces, is created in the writer's characteristic style of magical realism, while the novella Altynai celebrates first love, radiant and sad, pure as virgin snow.
Now mythical, now lyrical, Welsapar's characters face life's injustice with a surprising optimism and fortitude. The intense Asiatic colour not only of nature but of human feelings and relationships, is expressed by the author in striking, expressive language making the reader unable to close the book until the last page.
E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror as well as a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. His stories were highly influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.
'The Mines of Falun' tells the story of Elis Fröbom, a sailor who returns from the East Indies to Gothenburg in Sweden, only to discover that his mother has died and he is alone in the world. He tells his story to an old miner who befriends him on the quay, and the miner tells him about the magical mines of Falun and urges him to become a miner. Soon after this, he sets out on a journey and constantly sees the mysterious old miner ahead of him, showing him the way, and he realises that he is on the way to Falun.
Once there he is taken into the house of the mine owner, Pehrson Dahlsjö, and falls in love with his lovely daughter, Ulla Dahlsjö. But the ghostly old miner will not permit Elis to be distracted from mining by his love for an earthly woman, and Elis is torn between his love for Ulla and his obsession with the underground world of fires and minerals. It is this obsession, and the pull of the ghost of the miner, which leads to his destruction.
'Gambler's Luck' tells the story of a young German baron who is enjoying a streak of beginner's luck at the gambling tables. As his winnings mount up, the young man is gradually becoming sucked into the addictive habit of gambling. One night a stranger appears at the gambling table and watches the baron intently. The stranger appears night after night, until the baron is infuriated and challenges the man. A later chance meeting between the two results in the stranger relating a most unusual and gripping tale...
'The Cremona Violin' is the story of Councillor Krespel, an eccentric violin maker who lives with a mysterious woman, Antonia, who has the most beautiful singing voice ever heard by anyone in the town, but she was only ever heard to sing once. Krespel makes the best violins in the world but never sells any and plays each violin only once. There is a strange secret behind this odd behaviour...but it is only years later that the strange truth comes out.
This anthology of new noir fiction set in the Dutch capital “features superior writing from authors largely unknown to an American audience” (Publishers Weekly). From its numerous coffee shops where drugs are openly available, to its world-famous Red Light District where prostitutes display themselves in shop windows, Amsterdam is a city where almost anything goes in broad daylight. And yet, this serene city of canals has its dark side as well. In fifteen tales of greed, jealousy and revenge, some of the finest Dutch crime writers—including literary award-winners and international bestsellers—explore the seamy shadows of this historic city. Amsterdam Noir features brand-new stories by: Michael Berg, Anneloes Timmerije, Murat Isik, René Appel & Josh Pachter, Simon de Waal, Hanna Bervoets, Karin Amatmoekrim, Christine Otten, Mensje van Keulen, Max van Olden, Theo Capel, Loes den Hollander, Herman Koch, Abdelkader Benali, and Walter van den Berg, whose story "Get Rich Quick" won the inaugural Literatuurprijs Nieuw-West award.
A World War I spy thriller from an author who puts “electrifying action into everything he writes” (Jonathan Maberry, New York Times–bestselling author). Alma Brady is on the run from a New York mob boss. Desperate to escape Big Jim Hogan and his murderous gang, she joins a group of nurses bound for the Great War in Europe. Their ship is the Lusitania, the most celebrated luxury liner of 1915, with a passenger list of Broadway and Continental celebrities—who do not realize they are headed for certain doom. Aboard the ship she meets Matthew Vane, a war correspondent who wants to find out what secret weapons may be hidden in the Lusitania cargo hold. During the one-week voyage, these characters will be drawn into romance, intrigue and murder, in an epic historical thriller that takes us above and below decks, into the German U-boat lurking nearby, and to the capitals and battlefields of Europe. “Anyone who thrilled to the Titanic film will love this book.” —Sandra Nielsen
The myth of Echo and Narcissus appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses, a Latin mythological epic from the Augustan Age. It is one of the most touching stories ever written, and has inspired countless works of art through the centuries.The nymph Echo angers Hera, queen of the gods, who curses her: henceforth, Echo will only be able to repeat the last words that struck her ears. One day, the beautiful Narcissus, son of a nymph and a river god, passes through the forest...
William Fryer Harvey (1885-1937) was an English writer of short stories, particularly in the mystery and horror genres."Dead of Night" is a creepy tale set during a Zeppelin raid during the first world war. Athelston Digby goes out during a raid to check on a fire at a factory of which he is a shareholder. While he is out he is involved in an accident and is take to the local infirmary. The hospital is operating under blackout conditions with a skeleton staff... and under these circumstances it is quite possible for mistakes to take place... terrible mistakes....
Short stories set in Kentucky from a prize-winning author who “writes with generosity and understanding of rural and small town life” (Chris Offutt, author of Country Dark). Like a room soaked in the scent of whiskey, perfume, and sweat, the atmosphere of these stories is at once intoxicating, vulnerable, and full of brawn, revealing the hidden dangers in the coyote-infested fields, rusty riverbeds, and abandoned logging trails of Kentucky. In one story, a man spends seven days in a jon boat with his fiddle and a Polaroid camera, determined to enact vengeance on the water-logged body of a used car salesman; in another, a demolition derby enthusiast watches his two wild, burning love interests duke it out, only to determine he would rather be left alone entirely. Together, these stories present a resonant debut collection from an unexpected new voice in Southern fiction, a recipient of the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, the Barry Hannah Prize for Fiction, and the Eric Hoffer Award in General Fiction. “This debut collection pulls readers into rural Kentucky and hammers them with the despair and frustration that drive his fierce, battered denizens of the Bluegrass State.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) “[Taylor] writes with wit, zest and skill . . . In the long queue of very good contemporary Southern writers, here’s a guy who can cut to the front.” —The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
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