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Blatnik, Andrej (Translated by Tamara Soban) . SKINSWAPS. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1998. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 112 pages. As New.

The author's first book to be translated into English. One of the greatest literary collections of our time. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as part of the "Writings From An Unbound Europe" Series as a hardcover original. Almost all copies of the First Hardcover Edition (its ISBN is different from subsequent printings) went to library collections. The regular trade edition is a softcover original. The hardcover is now very rare. Presents "Menjave koz", Andrej Blatnik's now-classic collection of short stories, in a brilliant English translation. "An epigraph to this collection ('the world is getting smaller with every second we breathe') aptly describes the sensibility of this Slovenian writer. Not only does he specialize in miniatures himself (the majority of these stories are under two pages) but he often puts life under a microscope. The opening story captures a moment in slow motion as a band makes a Herculean effort to come together on the beat. In the final story, a man getting off a bus imagines himself cleaning a kitchen under the watchful eyes of an aggrieved lover, imagining that his Walkman batteries will die as he cleans. The other tales are finely honed, often comic pieces ranging from aphorisms to spare dialogues and explorations of cultural differences. The recognizably European characters mix philosophy, eroticism, and grit, returning repeatedly to themes of music, death, betrayal, and the fragility of the individual's hold on reality. Blatnik's craftsmanship and modern flair direct our attention repeatedly to what is small, strange, and essential in the world around us" (Publishers Weekly). Together with the best of Soviet/post-Soviet Russia, the Central European literary tradition is critically regarded as "literature on a grand scale" (Susan Sontag) and only slightly hyperbolically as "the greatest European writing of our time" (Columbia University Literary History of Eastern Europe). An absolute "must-have" title for Andrej Blatnik and contemporary literature collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed, placed, and dated in blue pen on the title page by the author: "Andrej Blatnik NY, 29/4/11". Blatnik made a rare appearance at the 2011 PEN World Festival. Laid-in is a copy of the 60-page Souvenir Program. This title is now highly collectible. This is the only signed, placed, and dated copy of the First American Hardcover Edition available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest living writers. A flawless collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ANDREJ BLATNIK TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0810116561. $200.00

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