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Szymborska, Wislawa (Translated by Clare Cavanagh). NONREQUIRED READING: PROSE PIECES. New York City, NY: Harcourt, Inc. , 2002. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 233 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of essays. One of Wislawa Szymborska's finest achievements. 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 a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Wislawa Szymborska's lyrical and literary essays on ninety-four subjects (everything from cooking, gardening, and yoga to opera and world literature), a "luminous and inspiring set of readerly reports: Sharp, digressive, joyous" (Publisher's blurb). "Szymborska insists on clarity and directness in her writing, and evinces, too, a ready wit and a wholly personal point of view. Her poetry is treasured the world over, but unbeknownst to most readers, Szymborska is also a literary columnist, and several decades' worth of her brilliantly arch and pithy essays are deftly translated and gathered in this pleasurable volume in all their vivacious unpredictability and radiant intelligence" (Donna Seaman). Among contemporary Nobel Laureates (and unlike many of her famously morose countrymen and fellow writers), Szymborska was perhaps the most playful and even light-hearted. The word "charming", often used to describe such a sensibility, isn't quite right in her case. She was the embodiment of the life of the mind as play, diversion, and joy, taken seriously because it matters just as much to know and elicit joy as it does to know and evoke sorrow and suffering. As such, Szymborska was one of a handful of genius-writers whose art had a transformative effect, reminding readers that life, flaws and all, was still worth living. Knowing that she was alive and well and writing in her tiny room in Krakow, Poland made one despair less about the world in general. Wislawa Szymborska died on February 1, 2012, one of the most beloved literary figures of our time, an indispensable voice who will live on in her work. An absolute "must-have" title for Wislawa Szymborska collectors. This title is now highly collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Almost all other copies available online are either subsequent printings or Print On Demand. A very scarce copy thus. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA, CZESLAW MILOSZ, ADAM ZAGAJEWSKI, AND THOMASZ ROZYCKI TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0151006601. $100.00

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