The Woman of Porto Pim

Overview

By Antonio Tabucchi, one of the most renowned voices in European literature and the foremost Italian writer of his generation, The Woman of Porto Pim is made up of enchanting, hallucinatory fragments that take place on the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. Told by a visiting Italian writer unearthing legends, relics and histories of the inhabitants, the tales shed light on a local restaurant proprietress¢s impossible love with an Azorean fisherman during WWII, a dazzling whaling expedition of ...
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The Woman of Porto Pim

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Overview

By Antonio Tabucchi, one of the most renowned voices in European literature and the foremost Italian writer of his generation, The Woman of Porto Pim is made up of enchanting, hallucinatory fragments that take place on the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. Told by a visiting Italian writer unearthing legends, relics and histories of the inhabitants, the tales shed light on a local restaurant proprietress¢s impossible love with an Azorean fisherman during WWII, a dazzling whaling expedition of eras past, shipwrecks both metaphorical and real, and a playful look at humankind from the perspective of a whale.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What a strange and wonderful book this is! If, like me, you are interested in shipwrecks, whales, the Azores and the unique way in which only literature can bring a location to life, and if you like the unclassifiable, small works by authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Italo Calvino — then have I got the book for you ... Wildly inventive." — Ethan Rutherford, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Tabucchi's prose creates a deep, near-profound and sometimes heart-wrenching nostalgia and constantly evokes the pain of recognizing the speed of life's passing which everyone knows but few have the strength to accept ... Wonderfully thought-provoking and beautiful. —Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

Ruminative, elegiac and mordantly funny, Mr. Tabucchi¢s prose conjures a state between waking and dreaming. —The New York Times

There is in Tabucchi's stories the touch of the true magician, who astonishes us by never trying too hard for his subtle, elusive, and remarkable effects. —The San Francisco Examiner

A witty and subtle meditation on the limits of memory and imagination. —Nick Hornby, Times Literary Supplement

Elegant, cosmopolitan, inventive, ambitious, and disquieting; his writing is, paradoxically, sensual and economical. —Boston Review

Meticulously crafted . . . marked by wit, emotion, memory, and lost grandeur. —Publishers Weekly

"On a final note, I must add that this reviewer had the pleasure of reading The Woman of Porto Pim at the seaside. If at all possible, I recommend all others do the same. I imagine, however, that Tabucchi’s prose, and Parks’s translation, would allow the sea to come to you, wherever you may find yourself reading." — Monika Seger, World Literature Today
 

Like good short fiction, the stories in this volume act in ways that suggest a wider world outside the frame of the story. —Sycamore Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935744740
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,452,880
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

One of the most beloved writers of his generation, Antonio Tabucchi was born in Pisa in 1943 and died in Lisbon in 2012. A master of short fiction, he won the Prix Médicis Etranger for Indian Nocturne, the Italian PEN Prize for Requiem: A Hallucination, the Aristeion European Literature for Pereira Declares, and was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Together with his wife, María José de Lancastre, Tabucchi translated much of the work of Fernando Pessoa into Italian. Tabucchi¢s works include Little Misunderstandings of No Importance, Letter from Casablanca, The Edge of the Horizon, and The Edge of the Horizon.

Tim Parks teaches literary translation at IULM University in Milan. He is a literary critic and the author of An Italian Education, The Server, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, and Teach Us to Sit Still. Twice winner of the John Florio Prize for translation, Parks has translated works by Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino, Roberto Calasso, Niccolò Machiavelli, Fleur Jaeggy, and Antonio Tabucchi.

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Read an Excerpt

Small Blue Whales Strolling about the Azores Fragment of a Story

She owes me everything, said the man heatedly, everything: her money, her success. I did it for her, I shaped her with my own hands, that’s what. And as he spoke he looked at his hands, clenching and unclenching his fingers in a strange gesture, as if trying to grasp a shadow. The small ferry began to change direction and a gust of wind ruffled the woman’s hair. Don’t talk like that, Marcel, please, she muttered, looking at her shoes. Keep your voice down, people are watching us. She was blonde and wore big sunglasses with delicately tinted lenses. The man’s head jerked a little to one side, a sign of annoyance. Who cares, they don’t understand, he answered. He tossed the stub of his cigarette into the sea and touched the tip of his nose as if to squash an insect. Lady Macbeth, he said with irony, the great tragic actress. You know the name of the place I found her in? It was called ‘La Baguette’, and as it happens she wasn’t playing Lady Macbeth, you know what she was doing? The woman took off her glasses and wiped them nervously on her T-shirt. Please, Marcel, she said. She was showing off her arse to a bunch of dirty old men...

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