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Aliens and Alienists

Vincenzo Di Nicola
The list author says: "This list brings together reflections, memoirs and fiction about the alienating experience of difference, mental illness and cultural dislocation and those who live with it and deal with it."
Blindness (Harvest Book)
Blindness (Harvest Book)
"This cyclone's-eye view of the horrors of the twentieth century by José Saramago, Portugal's stern and spartan Nobelist, is oddly detached yet moving."
Immortality (Perennial Classics)
Immortality (Perennial Classics)
"Ex-Czech (and current Parisian) Kundera's look at love and the dial of life and how to live when you're off the dial!"
Psychiatrist and Other Stories
Psychiatrist and Other Stories
"Brazilian Machado de Assis has a deft and sure touch of digressive irony in the title story--absolutely the best in any language about that old canard, the psychiatrist gone crazy."
The Book Of Disquiet
The Book Of Disquiet
"A fine, semi-autobiographical introduction to the self-questioning of Portugal's great creator of poets and poetry; best taken in small, homeopathic doses."
The White Castle: A Novel
The White Castle: A Novel
"Turkish writer Pamuk covers familiar territory on identity and intercultural contact that he renders new, terrifying and inviting all at once; forget what you thought you knew about Constantinople."
Invisible Cities
Invisible Cities
"Italian fabulist Calvino loved metafiction: this is a catalogue of the experience of cities and how other places are simply imperfectly remembered maps of one's city of origin."
The Following Story
The Following Story
"Dutch master storyteller Noteboom reinvents the novella in this gorgeous tale of the pains of mid-life stock-taking; enough to make getting old feel awesome and to make me fall in love with Lisbon."
A Small Death in Lisbon
A Small Death in Lisbon
"An intricate tale stretching a police procedural in present-day Lisbon on the racks of WWII history with a twist of sexual sadism thrown in to leave a bitter after-taste."
Heresiarch & Co
Heresiarch & Co
"No catalogue of alienation could omit the myth of the Wandering Jew and this Italian-Polish poet who wrote in French has updated the legend marvelously in two connected short stories here."
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
"With the death of Pessoa, his poet-creation Ricardo Reis returns to Lisbon too late for the funeral but the two meet in a kind of afterlife to conclude their earthly affairs. Chilling and affecting."
Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Novel (Vintage International)
Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Novel (Vintage International)
"This brilliant autobiographical novel by Austrian Thomas Benhard about his time in a hospital with the nephew of Ludwig Wittgenstein is a meditation on fame & infamy, life & death, genius & madness."