It's Getting Later All the Time by Alastair McEwen
(New Directions Paperbook)

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Synopsis

In It's Getting Later All the Time, an epistolary novel with a twist, Antonio Tabucchi—"internationally acclaimed as the most original voice in the new generation of Italian writers" (The Harvard Book Review)—revitalizes an illustrious tradition, only to break all its rules.


From Italy, an epistolary novel like no other, full of Tabucchi's special "enchantment, which trans-figures even as it captivates" (TLS).



In It's Getting Later All the Time, an epistolary novel with a twist, Antonio Tabucchi"internationally acclaimed as the most original voice in the new generation of Italian writers" (The Harvard Book Review)revitalizes an illustrious tradition, only to break all its rules. Seventeen men write seventeen strangely beautiful letterstender or rancorouslonely monologues which move in circles, each describing an affair, and each desperate for a reply which may never come. The letters plunge the reader into an electric, timeless no-man's-land of "this past that is always somewhere, hanging in shreds." And at last, collecting all their one-sided, remorseful adventures into a single polyphonic novel, an 18th letter startlingly answers the men's pleas: a woman's voice, distant, implacable, yet full of sympathy. It's Getting Later All the Time captures destinies which, though so varied in appearance, are at rock bottom all the same: broken. This is an anti-Proustian noveltime lost is lost forever: it is impossible to get back to the past no matter how it haunts the present. As Tabucchi remarked, "Broken time is a dimension you find lots of men living in...an ambiguous, impossible situation, because they are faced with a kind of remorse, a choice they never made."
 

About Alastair McEwen

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Antonio Tabucchi was born in Pisa, Italy on September 24, 1943. He studied literature and philosophy at the city's university. He was a writer and academic. He was professor of Portuguese literature at the University of Siena and the Italian Cultural Institute in Lisbon. His works include Piazza d'Italia, Piccoli Equivoci Senza Importanza (Little Misunderstandings of No Importance), Requiem, uma Alucinaçaõ (Requiem: A Hallucination), Tristano Muore (Tristan Is Dying), and Racconti con Figure. Many of his works were adapted into films including Sostiene Pereira (Pereira Maintains) and Notturno Indiano (Indian Nocturne). In addition to his fictional writing, he translated works by Fernando Pessoa and other Portuguese writers into Italian. He received numerous literary prizes including the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France. In 1993, he was one of the founder members of the International Parliament of Writers and contributed articles to its journal, Autodafé. He died of cancer on March 25, 2012 at the age of 68. McEwen is a translator who has lived and worked in Milan, Italy for the past 27 years.
 
Published May 17, 2006 by New Directions. 232 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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It’s an epistolary novel, whose major contents are 17 titled letters addressed to an unnamed woman (presumably the same one, possibly a generic ideal beloved), each expressing some variation of the plaintive declaration made by writer #17: “I’m waiting for you, even though we don’t wait for those...

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