Piano Stories

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Overview

From the writer adored by the likes of Garc?a Marquez, Calvino, and Francine Prose comes a collection of Hern?ndez's classic talesPiano Stories presents fifteen wonderful works by the great Uruguayan author Felisberto Hern?ndez, ?a writer like no other,? as Italo Calvino declares in his introduction: ?like no European or Latin American. He is an ?irregular,? who eludes all classifications and labellings ? yet he is unmistakable on any page to which one might randomly open one of his books.? Piano Stories contains...

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Piano Stories

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Overview

From the writer adored by the likes of García Marquez, Calvino, and Francine Prose comes a collection of Hernández's classic talesPiano Stories presents fifteen wonderful works by the great Uruguayan author Felisberto Hernández, “a writer like no other,” as Italo Calvino declares in his introduction: “like no European or Latin American. He is an ‘irregular,’ who eludes all classifications and labellings — yet he is unmistakable on any page to which one might randomly open one of his books.” Piano Stories contains classic tales such as “The Daisy Dolls,” “The Usher,” and “The Flooded House.”

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Editorial Reviews

Gabriel García Márquez
“If I hadn't read the stories of Felisberto Hernandez in 1950, I wouldn't be the writer I am today.”
Bookforum
“Poetry that transforms the ordinary into the uncanny.”
The New York Times Book Review - Michael Pye
“Excellent … miraculously alive … wonderful.”
Francine Prose
“A vision of such startling beauty that it flares up like an old-fashioned phosphorous match and illuminates our whole lives.”
Michael Pye - The New York Times Book Review
“Excellent … miraculously alive … wonderful.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Uruguayan fabulist Hernandez 1902-1964 influenced Calvino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others, but the appeal of these fey tales that introduce him to an English-speaking audience and that recount the adventures of a poor pianist may elude the casual reader. For Hernandez, inanimate objects have a will and conscience of their own. About a red pencil used by his music teacher, the narrator exclaims, ``like a piglet suckling in quick, short bursts, it would cling hungrily to the white of the page, leaving little sharp footprints with its short black hoof and merrily wagging its long red tail.'' In another story, the narrator plays the piano for an agoraphobic who believes that her balcony has a soul and that, jealous over the attention she pays to the narrator, the balcony has jumped from the building. Other strange doings involve a promotional scheme for a furniture store whereby promoters inject would-be customers with a serum that sensitizes them to special advertising broadcasts, and a woman who dresses up a doll that resembles her in her own clothing and whose husband eventually falls in love with the doll. Hernandez's imagination is extremely fertile, but his prose, at least in this translation, is baggy and he tends to trot out intriguing but ultimately meaningless phrases: ``She leaned her bare arms on the panes as if she were resting them on someone's breast.'' July
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811221801
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/27/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,360,286
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1902, Felisberto Hernández was a talented pianist, playing in the silent-screen movie theaters when he was twelve years old. He later toured the small concert halls of Uruguay and Argentina. He married four times,published seven books, and died, impoverished, in 1964.

Born in Brooklyn, Francine Prose has published fourteen novels. The Washington Post has called her work a “sheer delight.”

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Translator's Note
How Not to Explain My Stories 3
Just Before Falling Asleep 5
The Stray Horse 7
No One Had Lit a Lamp 45
The Balcony 53
The Usher 69
Except Julia 87
The Woman Who Looked Like Me 107
My First Concert 123
The Dark Dining Room 131
The Green Heart 149
"Lovebird" Furniture 157
The Two Stories 161
The Daisy Dolls 175
The Flooded House 231
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    I love playing the piano!!!

    It is way 2much fun. Everyone should learn to play it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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