Flaw by Magdalena TulliFlaw by Magdalena Tulli


byMagdalena TulliTranslated byBill Johnston

Paperback | November 5, 2007

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A single streetcar line runs around the sleepy suburban square of an unnamed city. One day—out of nowhere—a group of hapless refugees pour from the streetcar and set up camp in the square. The residents grow hostile to the disruption and chaos, and eventually take matters into their own hands... Flaw is Tulli’s most intense and personally motivated work to date, while still retaining the signature mind-and word-play so admired by critics and her growing readership.
Magdalena Tulli's other novels include Dreams and Stones and Moving Parts, nominated for the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and In Red. Flaw has been shortlisted for the 2007 Nike Prize, Poland's most prestigious literary award. Tulli is also the translator of Proust and Calvino into Polish. She lives in Warsaw. Bill J...
Title:FlawFormat:PaperbackDimensions:175 pages, 6.48 × 5.57 × 0.57 inPublished:November 5, 2007Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0979333016

ISBN - 13:9780979333019

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Read from the Book

First will come the costumes. The tailor will supply them all wholesale. He’ll select the designs off- handedly and, with a few snips of the shears, will summon to life a predictable repertoire of gestures. See – scraps of fabric and thread in a circle of light, while all around is darkness. Out of the turmoil will emerge a fold of cloth, the germ of a tuck fastened with a pin. The tuck will create everything else. If it’s sufficiently deep, it will call into existence a glittering watch chain on a protruding belly, labored breathing, and a bald head bedewed with perspiration. One thing leads to another. The outward appearance brings with it certain attributes: gluttony, pride, and a disagreeable matter-of-factness that douses every impulse of the heart like cold water poured from a bucket. For each three-piece suit there have to be at least two linen kitchen aprons, one for the lady of the house, one for the maid. But there should only be a single gown, in finest taffeta for example. A second one would spoil everything. The plot would be over before it began, brought to a close by a premature scandal.

Editorial Reviews

The originality of Tulli’s writing is not lessened by representing a family tree that includes Michaux, Kafka, Calvino, and Saramago. —W.S. Merwin Powerful imagery caught in sinewy, architectural, elegiac prose. —Anne Waldman Like all great works of art, Tulli’s books create something new, something that doesn’t respond to what the reader has been conditioned to expect. —Rain Taxi Descartes famously entertained the suspicion that the whole of reality was nothing but a devilish imposition upon our imaginations, and in Flaw, Magdalena Tulli, an extraordinary Polish writer who is as much cosmologist as novelist, has fashioned a theater of reality that Descartes’ devil might have dreamed up, a world of sinister politics and slapstick metaphysics, crowded with lonely hearts, refugees, and riot police. The book is coolly charming, funny, and heartbreaking. Even the devil should weep. —Edwin Frank Johnston has rendered brilliantly Tulli's distinctive narrative voice in Flaw—coolly objective, unimpassioned, disembodied, belonging to no one in particular even when it occasionally adopts one or another character's point of view. Faithful to the Polish in every way that is meaningful, Johnston's translation is also a beautiful piece of English prose narrative. —Slavic and East European Journal Each successive book of Tulli’s, from Dreams and Stones to Flaw, not only demonstrates the author’s consummate talent, but also ever more clearly defines the independence of her artistic vision. Far from being some reiteration of the avant-garde, Tulli's writing is something enchantingly different from the Polish prose of today and of earlier times. —Tygodnik Powszechny