A Tranquil Star: StoriesPaperback
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- Publisher: WW Norton & Co
- Format: Paperback | 176 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 198mm x 10mm | 318g
- Publication date: 25 April 2008
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 039333161X
- ISBN 13: 9780393331615
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Illustrations note: Illustrations
- Sales rank: 107,514
These seventeen stories, first published in Italian between 1949 and 1986, demonstrate Levi's extraordinary range, taking the reader from the primal resistance of a captured partisan fighter to a middle-aged chemist experimenting with a new paint that wards off evil, to the lustful thoughts of an older man obsessed with a mysterious woman in a seaside villa. In the title story, Levi demonstrates his unerringly tragic understanding of the fragility of the universe through the tale of a pensive astronomer, terrified by the possibility that a long-dormant star might explode and reduce the entire planet to vapor. This remarkable new collection affirms Italo Calvino's conviction that Levi was "one of the most important and gifted writers of our time."
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A chemist by training, Primo Levi (1919-1987) was arrested as an anti-fascist partisan during World War II, and deported to Auschwitz in 1944. His books include The Drowned and the Saved, If This Is a Man and The Periodic Table. He died in 1987. Norton will publish The Complete Works of Primo Levi in 2010. Ann Goldstein, an editor at The New Yorker, won the PEN Prize for Italian translation in 1993. Alessandra Bastagli is the translator of Primo Levi's stories in A Tranquil Star and his essays in The Complete Works. She lives in New York.