DescriptionThese 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."
W. W. Norton & Company
April 01, 2008
5.5 X 0.43 X 8.08 inches | 0.31 pounds
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About the Author
Born to a Jewish family in Turin in 1919, Primo Levi was trained as a chemist. During World War II, he was arrested as a member of a partisan group and deported to Auschwitz. After the camp's liberation, he returned to Italy and worked as a chemist, writing only on the side. His first book Survival at Auschwitz was a personal account of his year at the camps. The follow-up memoir The Reawakening cemented Levi as a leading authority on the Holocaust. Other books by Levi include Periodic Table, If Not Now, When?, The Monkey's Wrench, Other People's Trades, The Drowned and the Saved, and more. Primo Levi died in 1987 after falling down his apartment's stairway. Biographers remain divided as to whether his fall was a suicide or an accident.
Ann Goldstein is the former senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
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.