Carole Angier

The Inadequacy of Words

A Tranquil Star: Unpublished Stories


Penguin Classics 166pp £20 order from our bookshop

This month it will be twenty years since Primo Levi died. It’s hard to believe. But at least we will be getting a new and (at last) complete translation into English of his Collected Works, of which these stories are a sample. It is a small but welcome consolation.

My main regret is that it is, of course, an American publisher who has taken this on, not a British one. The American flavour of the text makes it feel as though it is still written in a foreign language, left on our doorstep like a foundling, instead of being laid sweetly in our arms. Still, the foundling is worth it; and I aim this complaint at the British publishers who did not take on the project, rather than at the excellent American publisher, Norton, who did. 

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