o Antonio Tabucchi was born in Pisa in 1943 and died in Lisbon in 2012. A master of short fiction, he won the Prix MUdicis Etranger for Indian Nocturne, the Italian PEN Prize for Requiem- A Hallucination, the Aristeion European Literature Prize for Pereira Declares, and was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. Together with his wife, Maria JosU de Lancastre, Tabucchi translated much of the work of Fernando Pessoa into Italian. Tabucchi's works include The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico, and The Woman of Porto Pim (Archipelago), Little Misunderstandings of No Importance, Letter from Casablanca, and The Edge of the Horizon (New Directions). ao Translator Bios ao Antonio Romani and Martha Cooley's translations of poems by Italian poet Giampiero Neri have been published in AGNI, Atlanta Review, PEN America, A Public Space, and elsewhere. ao Martha Cooley is the author of two novels, The Archivist and Thirty-Three Swoons. Her works of short fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in PEN America, The Common, A Public Space, and elsewhere.
In this collection of short stories, the late Tabucchi (The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico) plays with philosophical themes such as the circularity of memory and time, depicting characters who struggle to preserve voices they can no longer hear and to communicate these echoes to others. ... Exposing memory for the fiction it is, these wonderful stories produce a melancholic nostalgia even as they undermine it. -- Publishers Weekly
A pensive, beautifully written meditation on personhood and nationhood in the new age of European unity ... many of the characters in this joined collection--something more than short stories but not quite a novel--are stateless and uprooted; they come from somewhere else, and they're never quite at home where they are ... A pleasure ... for fans of modern European literature. -- Kirkus Reviews There is in Tabucchi's stories the touch of the true magician, who astonishes us by never trying too hard for his subtle, elusive and remarkable effects. -- The San Francisco Examiner Tabucchi's work has an almost palpable sympathy for the oppressed. -- The New York Times As with all fine writers, it is remarkable how the same themes surface effortlessly in Tabucchi's work even when the material is quite new. . . In particular there is an engaging dialogue between two Italians under sunshades on a Croatian beach: a sick man in his forties and a precocious young girl. Gradually, it emerges that neither was born in Italy: the girl, unsurprisingly called Isabel, is from Peru while the man was born "in a country that's no longer on any maps"; yet both culturally are entirely Italian. The man, an invalided soldier, is dying of uranium poisoning while the girl is facing the breakup of her family. Nevertheless the entire conversation unfolds with great charm, playfulness, and decorum in a summery Mediterranean haze. It is a welcome return to Tabucchi at his best. -- The New York Review of Books By now the appearance of a new novel by Antonio Tabucchi is a literary event. -- World Literature Today I found myself cheered by [Tabucchi's] rich, occlusive writing, filled with flecks of gold, panning the river bottom of our lives, finding here and there scintillating bits, some deviously interesting characters, all deftly laid out on the page. --RALPH Magazine Poignant, philosophical... Tabucchi has done the seemingly impossible with this collection: in an era of fast-paced plots, Tabucchi's characters, language, and very form force readers to pause and reflect on one small, powerful moment. It's a pleasure each step of the way. -- Laura Farmer, The Gazette Fluid and airy... Contemplative and without affection, these stories would be well accompanied by a wistful gaze out a window - an enjoyable memento mori on a warm summer day which will soon fade into all the others. -- Ruairi Casey, Totally Dublin History, personal or collective, weighs on everyone in these stories, sculpting their inner lives. And yet, Tabucchi suggests, an unlikely transcendence is possible. -- Philip Graham, Fiction Writers Review Each of Tabucchi's pieces feels like a treasure, a small gift or sweet to be unwrapped gleefully... This was an author who understood that a great part of life is spent not doing but envisioning what one could do and remembering what one has done. "Time Ages in a Hurry" is a collection that showcases not only Tabucchi's intelligence but also his wisdom. -- The Harvard Crimson [Tabucchi's] prose creates a deep, near-profound and sometimes heart-wrenching nostalgia and constantly evokes the pain of recognizing the speed of life's passing which everyone knows but few have the strength to accept ... Wonderfully thought-provoking and beautiful. -- Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered Poetic and prophetic... I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories, all having central characters reliving an important, and life changing memory. The reflection upon time and place captured in a melancholic style with depth of clarity around quite simple everyday occurrences. -- Messenger's Booker