On a strange train journey, in a series of six compartments, a traveler experiences unpredictable encounters, culminating in a meeting of epiphanic power. Through a narrative of dreamlike sharpness Compartments taps into the fears and absurdities, the beauties and mysteries of the unconscious mind, to achieve a consummation both moving and full of hope.
This volume also contains the novella "The Square," an uplifting meditation on the restorative power of Art and "The Teashop," a superb new novelette about storytelling and the miraculous weavings of Fate, as well as two short stories, "The Telephone" and "First Photograph."
In what strange edifice of the imagination do you find a condemned cell, a hotel room and a hospital room? What kind of hotel offers a zinc mine, a meat-packing plant, a weapons factory and a cemetery of famous artists among its attractions? Why do four people commit suicide in the same bathroom and why does a literature professor cut up several of the greatest works of literature into a confetti of letters? In this wildly imaginative, wildly funny satire on Art and Death nothing is quite what it seems and the maze of symbols grows more complex with each encounter.
A cycle of six thematically linked stories, droll renditions of the nightmares ensuing upon misplaced, or (of course) excessive, bibliophilia. A writer encounters a website where all his possible future books are on display; a lonely man faces an infinite flow of hardback books through his mailbox; an ordinary library turns by night into an archive of souls; the Devil sets about raising standards of infernal literacy; one book houses all books; a connoisseur of hardcovers strives to expel a lone paperback from his collection.
- Winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award
- Longlisted for 2004 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
In this suite of eight stories, the three ages of woman—youth, midlife and senescence—engage in a complex and fruitful dance. A young Miss Tamara is lured by a series of postcards concealed in library books. A middle-aged Miss Tamara discovers that her new reading glasses turn the pages blank. An afternoon's reading is disturbed by the realization that all books have turned fatally toxic. A mysterious phone call leads to a book which blinds its readers but also to romance. Woven through these seemingly simple narratives are deep themes of youth and ageing, memory and loss, solitude and companionship, and the relationship between the physical and the mental life. Above all this is a book about reading: its pleasures, rituals, essential preciousness. Reading as an obsession which can not only isolate, but also lead to discovery and love.
Ten linked stories with resonant titles explore almost every conceivable aspect of human memory: the positive and the negative, the precious and the profane, the heavenly and the unbearably hellish. Živković's deceptively simple tales anatomize the essence of what makes human beings tick, our passions, our vanities and yearnings; the very memories which make us who we are.