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Paperback Telling Tales Book

ISBN: 0312424043

ISBN13: 9780312424046

Telling Tales

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

An extraordinary story collection selected by Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, from which all proceeds will be donated to the fight against AIDS

Rarely have writers of such variety and distinction appeared together in the same anthology. Their stories capture the range of emotions and situations of our human universe: tragedy, comedy, fantasy, satire, dramas of sexual love and of war in different continents and cultures. They are...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

What an amazing compilation!

Some great, some strange, some experimental, and some that may be better in the original language, but a fabulous cooperative effort by the greatest storytellers of our time. These works show the intricate complexity characteristic of a great short, and most illustrate that more effort goes into 5000 words than 50,000, or 500,000 in the case of Rushdie. (sorry, couldn't resist). I can't pick a favorite. Some will stay with me forever, and a few have already faded in memory, but I am richer having read them all. Thank you, Nadine Gordimer, for this exceptional collection.

Sharing for a cause

Some writers, like musicians, go public about their caring about people and causes. They may not appear at a Live 8 concert, but when approached they can be just as generous. The result of one such approach is this highly enjoyable collection of "tales" told by well known authors from around the world. Nadine Gordimer, the initiator of the project, and 20 authors have donated a story each. The publishers, translators and designers have waived their fees and profits. The book was published simultaneously in several languages. All proceeds will go to HIV/AIDS education and treatment in South Africa. This in itself would be enough reason to buy and look at this book! Yet, there are more grounds for spending your money on it. The stories, selected by the authors themselves, reflect some of the best of each author's writing. They convey diverse personal outlooks or describe real or imagined life experiences. We find John Updike next to Arthur Miller, Paul Theroux and Gabriel Garcia Marquez together with Amos Oz and Günter Grass... Several less known African authors, such as Njabulo Ndebele, share a spot with well known Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. In its totality, we have been offered a smorgasbord of excellent story-telling. It's a partial who's who of current world literature. The topics presented are as wide ranging as the authors' backgrounds and perspectives. Some are serious, some are funny or satirical. All excel in style and expression. This anthology is one to treasure, to pick up from time to time to read or revisit one of the authors. The ideal gift for yourself and others who enjoy a glimpse into the writing of some of the world's literary greats. [Friederike Knabe]

A Great Book for a Great Cause

It's bad form for a reviewer to suggest that readers go out and buy a book. The reviewer is charged with examining a book's content --- its soul, if you will --- without consideration for the commercial transaction that might actually put that book in someone's hands. However, TELLING TALES, a remarkable collection of short stories, demands a recommendation about purchase. After all, this is more than a book; it's a fundraiser. TELLING TALES collects 21 stories by writers from around the world, including five Nobel Prize winners (Gunter Grass, Jose Saramago, Kenzaburo Oe, Gordimer and Gabriel Garcia Marquez); two National Book Award winners (John Updike and Susan Sontag); a pair of Pulitzer Prize winners (Updike and Arthur Miller); and three winners of the Booker Prize (Margaret Atwood, Gordimer, and Salman Rushdie). Toss in Woody Allen, Paul Theroux and several more extremely talented writers, and you have an amazing collection. Each story was chosen by the author, and each was provided sans fee or expectation of royalty. All royalties and profits will be donated for HIV/AIDS preventative education and medical treatment for people in southern Africa, an area of the world devastated by the disease. Gordimer, a native of South Africa, is to be commended for bringing together such an esteemed body of authors. The stories themselves run the gamut from comedy to tragedy and many seem to sparkle on the page. Miller's "Bulldog" (which is built around an incident that would be fraught with the perils of AIDS if it were set in the present) is filled with striking language; Marquez's "Death Constant Beyond Love" is a gem of magic realism; and Allen delivers laughs in the satiric "The Rejection." TELLING TALES is both marvelously varied in terms of subject and style, and remarkably consistent in terms of quality. This is a great book for a great cause. --- Reviewed by Rob Cline

Saving the World

Nadine Gordimer is not only an admirable writer, but an admirable person. Her altruism is shown in the gathering of material for this great book, with no thought of gain for herself. The stories are all excellent and thoughtfully chosen. There is so much to choose from, it must have been difficult to select. For readers interested in South Africa, I recommend A TELLING TIME by Glynnis Hayward(ISBN 1591295912),a gripping tale by a new South African author.

Some Fine Stories!

Nadine Gordimer has brought together here 21 writers, including herself, who "tell tales" without fee or royalty to help in the world fight against HIV/AIDS. As you would expect, most of these stories are terribly serious; they are about the awfulness of war, loss, sorrow and at least half of them are about death. These are not stories, however, about dying with AIDS; neither are they always about the death of people. (In fact, only one writer Margaret Atwood mentions the disease in an aside.) Jose Saramago's story is about the death of a centaur; the bulldog in Arthur Miller's tale probably dies from an overdose of chocolate, for example. About the only comic relief comes-- as we would expect-- from a very funny, brief story by Woody Allen called "The Rejecton" and is about a family's dilemma when their three-year old is rejected from a tony nursery school in Manhattan. The writers are from many countries and nationalities. Some of my favorite writers and stories are here: Gabriel Garcia Marquez ("Death Constant Beyond Love") who can create as much magic in ten pages as he does in novels hundreds of pages long; and Amos Oz's tale of a young Israeli whose parachute drifts into a power line ("The Way of The Wind"). Susan Sontag (The Letter Scene) makes profound observations about letter-writing while Christa Wolf in "Associations in Blue" shatters some of the positive notions most of us have about the color blue. For instance, she tells us that "the care packages that the Americans dropped in Afghanistan were blue and no longer yellow, so people could tell them apart from the yellow cluster bombs that they [the U. S.] were dropping at the same time. Ms. Gordimer reminds the reader that five of these writers, herself included, won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Additionally, I noticed a couple of Booker Prize winners as well. I do not know how Ms. Gordimer selected the writers she included. I would have expected, however, to see selections by Toni Morrison-- Ms. Morrison because she is black, a woman, a Nobel Prize winner herself and, most importantly, as good a living writer as there is; and Mr. White because he is gay, HIV positive, the winner of literary prizes as well, and has been writing stories about AIDS for nearly twenty years now.
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