First published in 1957 in Poland, Bacacay is a collection of twelve short stories by Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1968), one of the major European literary figures of the 20th century. Stunningly original in both style and content, these stories are often hilarious yet with an undercurrent of profound moral disquiet and horror when the respectable turns slowly but inexorably into the outrageous, conveying both the horrors of upper-class life and the deepest anguish of the human condition.
Sławomir Mrożek - The Elephant
_The Elephant_ (1957) is Slawomir Mrozek's award-winning collection of hilarious and unnerving short stories, satirising life in Poland under a totalitarian regime. The family of a wealthy lawyer keep a 'tamed progressive' as a pet; a zoo saves money for the workers by fashioning their elephant from rubber; a swan is dismissed from the municipal park for public drunkenness; and under the Writers' Association, literary critics are banished to the salt mines. In these tales of bureaucrats, officials and artists, Mrozek conjures perfectly a life of imagined crimes and absurd authority.
Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish
Geralt de Rivia is a pale, white-haired witcher, a cunning sorcerer who kills without pangs of conscience. He pursues a single purpose: to destroy the dangerous monsters that plague the planet. Both cynical and noble, he plies his grim trade in the midst of uncertainty, a highly trained assassin who must respond instantaneously to danger. The Last Wish introduces the Witcher to an American audience; in author Andrzej Sapkowski's native Poland, this series outsells Stephen King and Michael Crichton.
Liliana Hart - A MacKenzie Christmas
*This story was originally published in the All I Want for Christmas Anthology* Grant MacKenzie is ready to settle down and start a family. The only problem is the one woman he’s interested in doesn’t seem to be ready for the long haul. But fate lends Grant a helping hand in getting exactly what he wants under his Christmas tree.
Molly McAdams - Changing Everything
Paisley Morro has been in love with Eli since they were thirteen-years-old. But after twelve years of only being his best friend and wingman, the heartache that comes from watching him with countless other women becomes too much, and Paisley decides its time to lay all her feelings on the table. Eli Jenkins has a life most guys would kill for: Dream job, countless women, and his best friend, Paisley, to be the girl he can always count on for everything else. But one conversation not only changes everything between them, it threatens to make him lose the only girl who has ever meant anything to him. When tragedy strikes his family and Eli is forced to reevaluate his life, he realizes a life without Paisley isn’t a life at all. Only now, he may be too late.
Isaac Bashevis Singer - A Friend of Kafka
This is probably the finest collection of short stories by a writer whose name has been linked (by both The Times and The Guardian) with that of Tolstoy. He writes with equal assurance of a professor of history (St Francis to the Warsaw pigeons), a coal-heaver, a Bohemian writer, a rich widow or a chimney sweep: and somehow, one and all, they seem to tread a precarious path between the supernatural world and the inviting pit of material reality.
Jamie McGuire - Happenstance 3
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it all. Now that Erin has learned the truth about the girls who tortured her, and about the boy she loves, she finds her time before graduation dwindling at an alarming and exciting pace. What used to be summer break was now a countdown to her final days in Blackwell. Her parents, Sam and Julianne struggle with the fear that just when they’ve found Erin, they must let her go, and the tension is higher than it’s been since Erin discovered who she really was. Finally with the girl he’s loved since childhood, Weston grows more desperate as the summer days pass. He and Erin will go to separate colleges. His biggest fear is that this means they’ll go their separate ways. Plagued with making the best of the time he has left with Erin, and finding a way to make it last, Weston finds himself in a different state of mind hourly. He is just beginning to realize that hope is like quicksand. The harder Weston struggles, the faster Erin sinks.
Jamie McGuire - Happenstance 2
Erin Easter was now Erin Alderman, because Erin Alderman was dead. In the second installment of this USA Today bestselling series, follow protagonist Erin, a high school senior in tiny Blackwell, Oklahoma. After a terrible accident leaves two classmates dead, Erin learns that she was switched at birth. Shortly after, she moves into the home of her true parents, Sam and Julianne Alderman, transforming Erin over night from pariah of Blackwell High School, to the only child of one of the most affluent couples in town. Also being pursued by her childhood crush, Weston Gates, the dream she once had is now reality. But when Erin stumbles upon secrets that gives her the answers she’s been searching for, she also finds a truth she never wanted to know.
Cassie Stevens - Legacy
The biggest day of David McKay's life threatens to implode when the custom-made suit he's ordered isn't delivered. No problem. For his important job interview, he'll just borrow the suit delivered to his best friend across the hall. After all, they borrowed things from each other all the time, and Max's suit looks great--a power suit. Yes, wearing this baby, David will definitely soar to the heights--in more ways than one. It's a big day for Max Westchester, too, one for which he's been training his whole life. With one phone call, the family legacy becomes his to bear, and along with it, the suit that will give him untold power to accomplish his role as superhero. It's a heavy responsibility, one he has always been told is his and his alone. So why is his best friend David wearing his special suit and flying around the city? One thing Max does know--the instant David gets home, the suit is coming off! The job of his dreams, the experience of his life...why shouldn't David take it a step farther and go after the man he loves, especially when Max is so anxious to get him undressed?
Wells Tower - Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
A man is booted out of his home after his wife discovers that the sweat-smudged footprint on the inside of his windscreen doesn't match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl. In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily, hilariously try to reassemble themselves. His characters - marauding Vikings, washed-up entrepreneurs, and jobbing hacks on local papers - are adrift from the mainstream, confused by contemporary masculinity, angry and aimless. Combining electric prose with compassion and dark wit, this is a major debut.
George Saunders - Pastoralia
Hailed by Thomas Pynchon as "graceful, dark, authentic, and funny," George Saunders now surpasses his New York Times Notable Book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with this bestselling collection of stories set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape.
ZZ Packer - Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Chosen by John Updike as aToday ShowBook Club Pick. Already an award-winning writer, ZZ Packer now shares with us her debut,Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. Her impressive range and talent are abundantly evident: Packer dazzles with her command of language, surprising and delighting us with unexpected turns and indelible images, as she takes us into the lives of characters on the periphery, unsure of where they belong. We meet a Brownie troop of black girls who are confronted with a troop of white girls; a young man who goes with his father to the Million Man March and must decides where his allegiance lies; an international group of drifters in Japan, who are starving, unable to find work; a girl in a Baltimore ghetto who has dreams of the larger world she has seen only on the screens in the television store nearby, where the Lithuanian shopkeeper holds out hope for attaining his own American Dream. With penetrating insight that belies her youth—she was only nineteen years old whenSeventeenmagazine printed her first published story—ZZ Packer helps us see the world with a clearer vision.Drinking Coffee Elsewhereis a striking performance—fresh, versatile, and captivating. It introduces us to an arresting and unforgettable new voice.
Miljenko Jergovic - Sarajevo Marlboro
"Poetic and moving . . . of the many books written on Bosnia, this collection of stories is perhaps the best."-Slavenka Drakulic Sarajevo Marlboro is Miljenko Jergovic's remarkable dbut collection of stories. Jergovic is a child of Sarajevo who remained in the city throughout the war. A dazzling storyteller, he brings a profoundly human, razor-sharp -understanding of the fate of the city's young Muslims, Croats, and Serbs with a subterranean humor and profoundly personal vision. Their offbeat lives and daily -dramas play out in the foreground, the killing zone in the background. Miljenko Jergovic was born in Sarajevo in 1966. A poet and journalist, he writes for the daily Oslobodjenje newspaper. He has written another collection of stories as well as two novels: Buick Riviera and Mama Leone. His work has been translated extensively throughout the world. Stela Tomasevic (Translator) was born in Belgrade in 1963. She studied literature at the University of East -Anglia. She has translated numerous works of nonfiction from the Serbo-Croatian and from the French. She currently works for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Former -Yugoslavia. Ammiel Alcalay (Introduction) is a scholar, critic, trans-lator and poet. In his own words, "My immersion in a -diversity of languages and cultures has shaped and informed my place within American culture. I have come to see myself as a conveyor of ideas, texts, histories, cultural encounters and narrative points of view that, for a variety of reasons, have not gotten the attention they merit."
Tomoyuki Hoshino - We, the Children of Cats
By turns teasing and terrifying, laconic and luminous, the stories in this anthology are drawn from sources as diverse as Borges, Nabokov, Garcia-Marquez, and traditional Japanese folklore, and yet they ultimately reside in a slyly subversive literary world that is all their own. Blending an uncompromising ethical vision with exuberant, free-wheeling imagery and bracing formal experimentation, the five short stories and three novellas included in We, the Children of Cats show the full range and force of Hoshino’s imagination. The stories include a man and woman who find their genders and sexualities brought radically into question when their bodies sprout new parts; a man who travels from Japan to Latin America in search of revolutionary purpose only to find much more than he bargained for; a journalist who investigates a poisoning at an elementary school and gets lost in an underworld of buried crimes, secret societies, and haunted forests; and two young killers, exiled from Japan, who find a new beginning as resistance fighters in Peru. An afterword by translator and editor Brian Bergstrom and a new preface by Hoshino himself is also included.
Isaac Bashevis Singer - The Last Demon
'I, a demon, bear witness that there are no more demons left.Why demons, when man himself is a demon?Why persuade to evil someone who is already convinced?I am the last of the persuaders.'Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in 1978, is best-remembered for his humane and moving short stories, which drew comparison with those of Maupassant and Chekhov. The three collected here, about a girl who pretends to be a man in order to study the Torah, a frustrated demon, and a writer trying to understand the confusion of a holocaust survivor, illuminate the great themes of human suffering with supernal grace.This book includes The Last Demon, Yentl the Yeshiva Boy and The Cafeteria.
Cassandra Clare - Maureen Johnson - The Runaway Queen
Magnus Bane has a royal role in the French Revolution—if the angry mobs don’t spoil his spells. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles. While in France, immortal warlock Magnus Bane finds himself attempting to rescue the royal family from the horrors of the French Revolution—after being roped into this mess by a most attractive count. Naturally, the daring escape calls for invisible air balloons… This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This story in The Bane Chronicles, The Runaway Queen, is written by Maureen Johnson and Cassandra Clare.
Eric Arvin - Abigail Roux - T. J. Klune - S. J. D. Peterson - S. A. McAuley - Jason Huffman-Black - Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open
Of humanity there are darker tales. Stories that take some squinting to see through. Unconventional stories. Tales that threaten to break the heart by cruel twists of fate, the dogs of war, or demons that are all too real; whether they be of unrequited love or a karmic slap in the face. Happy endings take a time in coming, and some never arrive. But through all the darkness there is light, a glimmer of hope and wonder…if one has the will to see it. The Demon of Jericho by Eric Arvin A Cruel Thing by Abigail Roux Wrong by SJD Peterson Anguish by Jason Huffman-Black The Hotel Luz by S.A. McAuley John & Jackie by TJ Klune
Robin Hobb - Words Like Coins
Robin Hobb revisits her Farseer world in the 10,000 word tale, “Words Like Coins,” featuring five new illustrations by Tom Kidd. Mirrifen, a failed hedge-witch's apprentice who has married to find security finds that threatened by a severe drought and the appearance of a pregnant female pecksie. From author post: "“Words Like Coins” is a _Six Duchies_ story that was first published in the Subterranean anthology _A Fantasy Medley_. This lovely little volume featured stories by Kate Elliott, Kelley Armstrong, C.E. Murhphy and myself. It sold out in a heartbeat. Since then, I’ve heard from a number of readers asking if there is any way to get a copy of the story. I am pleased to say that “Words Like Coins” is now available as a lovely e-book with literally fantastic illustrations by Tom Kidd."
Gabriel García Márquez - Bon Voyage Mr. President and Other Stories
`Bon Voyage, Mr President' is a short story collection from Marquez that offers a brief introduction to his style and which features four stories from his book `Strange Pilgrims'. The first story follows an ousted South American President as he receives medical treatment in Geneva, the second is a short episode about a beautiful woman on a plane and how a fellow passenger falls in love with her despite her aloofness, the third is a terrifying story about a woman who gets mistakenly admitted to a mental asylum and no-one will believe she is sane and wants to get out and the last story is a fantasy piece about some boys who swim and dive in electrical light! Each story is wonderfully written in Marquez's unique style and whilst they are not as fantastical as his novels (except the last story) they are all just as superbly crafted and written. This is a lovely collection to dip into at odd moments and offers a short introduction to Marquez's writing that will only serve to whet your appetite to go off and explore more.