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In Red Paperback – Deckle Edge, October 21, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Like all great works of art, Tulli¢s books create something new, something that doesn't correspond to what the reader has been conditioned to expect. —Rain Taxi

As Tulli demonstrated with a quick swish of the knives, story can keep peeling off from itself and regenerating, like a snake with ever renewable skin. —Eleni Sikelianos

Tulli strings together stories with compelling logic . . . Her evocation of a town where everything beautiful is tainted with death never feels far removed from reality. —The New Yorker

There is much to treasure. Tulli plays with the line between unexpected and quirky very well. . . . You can't help but to want to return again and again. —NPR

Enchanting. . . . Bill Johnston's translation is simply gorgeous. —The Coffin Factory

Powerful imagery caught in a sinewy, architectural, elegiac prose. An inner-outer dance of cityscape with the taut emotion, terror & psyche of the 'human.' Where are we? What magical zone of dream and stone? We are inhabitants of the wild, brilliant imagination of Magdalena Tulli. This book is a great pleasure to read: deeply provocative, intuitive, haunting. 'I hunt among stones' was Charles Olson's probing line, a mission manifested here with full beauty & finesse. And rendered from Polish to English in an inspired translation by Bill Johnston. —Anne Waldman

A beautifully flowing translation. Johnston aptly captures the dreamy as well as the stark quality of the original. —Danuta Borchardt

About the Author

Magdalena Tulli's other novels include Dreams and Stones and Moving Parts, nominated for the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and Flaw, shortlisted for the 2007 Nike Prize, Poland's most prestigious literary award. Tulli is also the translator of Proust and Calvino into Polish. She lives in Warsaw.

Bill Johnston is the Chair of the Comparative Literature Department at Indiana University. His translations include Wies?aw My?liwski¢s Stone Upon Stone, and Magdalens Tulli¢s Dreams and Stones, Moving Parts, and Flaw. His 2008 translation of Tadeusz Ró?ewicz¢s new poems won the inaugural Found in Translation Prize and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Poetry Award.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Archipelago (October 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935744089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935744085
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karli on December 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book may not exactly have a quick-paced plot, but Magdalena Tulli is a wonderful writer and it's hard not to appreciate the beautiful imagery and metaphorical storytelling.
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Format: Paperback
What an unusual story! At times I found myself rereading sections trying to follow the plot, and at other times simply because the language was so beautiful. In only 158 small Archipelago pages, the author tells a story that feels large in history and space.

"Whoever has been everywhere and seen everything, last of all should pay a visit to Stitchings. Simply take a seat in a sleigh and, before being overcome by sleep, speed across a plain that's as empty as a blank sheet of paper, boundless as life itself. Sooner of later this someone - perhaps it is a travelling salesman with a valise full of samples - will see great mounds of snow stretching along streets to the four corners of the earth, toward empty, icy expanses. He'll see pillars made of icicles, their snowy caps lost in the dark of a wintry sky. He'll draw into his lungs air as sharp as a razor that cuts feeling away from breath. He'll come to appreciate the benefits of a climate forever unencumbered by restless springtime breezes, by the indolence of summer swelter, or the misty sorrows of autumn. He'll take a liking to frost, which conserves feelings and capital, protecting both from the corruption of decay."

So begins the story of Stitchings, a small town in Poland that could be anywhere but is nowhere. It is mysterious and changing, but with certain signposts that help the reader move through history. In the beginning, Stitchings is occupied by the Swedish, "bearing in mind that a Swedish garrison is better than any Russian, Prussian, or Austrian one, just as a Swedish partition is better than any other possible partition." Historically, Poland is said to have been partitioned three times, by the forenamed powers, although there have been other times when lands were annexed.
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By Ryan Fernandez on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was very excited to begin to explore Tulli's works. And my first read of her work did not disappoint. Precise writing style and nice imagery. Character depth I found a little shallow, but for the length of this work that, I guess, should be somewhat expected.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Lim on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
A more depressing book I don't believe I've read in a long while. Tulli describes the ebb and flow of a fictitious town in Poland through the lives of certain high profiled individuals over time. Her intent, I think, is to emphasize greed and war destroy the fabric of humanity, and while her prose is certainly evocative and at time delicate, the overall tone of the book is dark. The Grim Reaper plays a central figure in this book, taking for himself, many an agonized soul.
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