New NYRB Classics November 23, 2010

New releases from NYRB Classics: now in its first English translation, Journey into the Past by the great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig; a masterpiece of historical fiction, Yasushi Inoue’s Tun-huang; and a darkly comedic novel, After Claude, by Iris Owens. For a limited-time, each of the three November titles is available at 25% off.

 

Tun-huang

By Yasushi Inoue
Prefaces by the author and Damion Searls
Translated by Jean Oda Moy

 

A magical and vivid adventure story set among the bandits, scholars, and monks of the fabled Silk Road. All seems lost when Chao Hsing-te sleeps through the exams that are to launch his career. But then a beautiful woman hands him a scrap of paper, written in a mysterious language. When he follows her into the desert, everything changes for him.

 

Re-reading Yasushi Inoue’s novel, Tun-huang, I once again delight in the fact that the author wrote the entire story without ever having set foot in Western China. At that time, of course, no Japanese or European scholars were allowed to travel to the area. And, yet, Tun-huang remains to my mind the most vivid account of the silk road oasis city ever published.” —Leanne Ogasawara, TangDynastyTimes.com

 

Read Yasushi Inoue’s Preface

 

 

After Claude

By Iris Owens
Introduction by Emily Prager

 

 

Funny and foulmouthed, Harriet tears around Greenwich Village insulting friend and foe alike. But when “the French rat” boyfriend Claude leaves her (or did she leave Claude?), Harriet is adrift. Girlfriends give advice but Harriet only takes offense, and it’s easy to understand why. Because mad and maddening as she may be, Harriet sees past the polite platitudes that everyone else is content to spout and live by. She is a bitingly funny prophetess of all that is wrong with women’s lives and hearts—until, in a surprise twist, she finds a savior in a dark room at the Chelsea Hotel.

 

Spikey with mockery, carbon steel wit and mature observation.” —The Village Voice

 

Read Emily Prager’s Introduction

 

Journey into the Past

By Stefan Zweig
Introduction by André Aciman
A new translation by Anthea Bell

 

 

Investigating the strange ways in which love, in spite of everything—time, war, betrayal—can last, Zweig tells the story of Ludwig, an ambitious young man from a modest background who falls in love with the wife of his rich employer. The couple vow to live together, but Ludwig is dispatched on business to Mexico. While he is there the First World War breaks out and Ludwig is unable to return to Europe. Years later he does go back to Germany to find his beloved a widow and their mutual attraction as strong as ever. But is it possible for love to survive precisely as the impossible?

 

Journey into the Past is vintage Stefan Zweig—lucid, tender, powerful and compelling.”
—Chris Schuler, The Independent

 

Read Anthea Bell’s Afterword