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In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. By Amy Tan. A Chinese matriarch in San Francisco unfolds the harrowing story of her life in Ms.

Tan's second novel, which poses, in a Tolstoyan tide of events, large questions of fate, circumstance and free will. By Margaret Forster.


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This lucid and graceful novel is a fictional account of the love story of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, as seen through the eyes of the servant who made it possible. By John Barth. An ingenious multi-story fiction, in which a Barth-resembling hero voyages back and forth between the Chesapeake Bay and Burton's "Thousand and One Nights.

By Bette Pesetsky. A disturbing cautionary fable for writers about a poet who finds she is dying and tries to put her literary life in order.

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By Mark Salzman. A robust, preposterous novel concerning a Chinese Buddhist lad's effort to recover a sacred text from America, with the help of a supernatural hero thousands of years old. By Ernest Hebert. The fifth in a series of novels about Darby, N. Hebert's vigorous saga of several families, both upper-crust and underdog, whose sense of community has been wasted by history. By Ivan Klima. A writer turned street sweeper is enmeshed in a love triangle in this satisfying Czechoslovak novel of conflict and contradiction. By Stanley Elkin. Elkin's besotted, betroped high style, pleading for the power of talk, is at its work in this tale of a municipal bureaucrat looking for meaning not of his own making.

Fat chance! By Susan Isaacs.

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A murder in the Hamptons is the pretext of this sparkling mystery-romance, in which the investigator falls in love with his own chief suspect. By Carolyn See. Terrible things happen in this novel to a man who tries to engineer a better country, without suffering, evil or original sin. By Ingeborg Bachmann. An intense, courageous novel that projects an unconventional triangle on a nasty background of corrupted language and power.

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MAO II. By Don DeLillo. A dark, dazzling, discursive novel in which writers, terrorists and hostages converge to adopt one another's functions and take one another's places in the historical imagination of the world. By Ron Hansen. The unusual subject of this novel -- the progress in devotion of a postulant whose experiences threaten her convent -- is sustained by its clear, polished prose. By Jiri Weill. A brilliant novel that renders wartime Prague as seen by its triumphant but ultimately futile German masters. By Josef Skvorecky. Raffish, acrimonious Danny Smiricky sleeps through the "miracle" of the title in this incident-crammed, gritty and lyrical novel of Czechoslovakia and its travails from to By Michael Chabon.

Short fiction of kaleidoscopic beauty that explores estrangement and other modern phenomena. By Robertson Davies. The narrator is murdered in the first line of this tremendously enticing novel, and thereafter his spirit flits around -- learning of his ancestral past in Holland, Wales and North America, watching seances from the dead's point of view and, slowly, getting revenge.

By Elizabeth Spencer. Personal relationships, not historical events, hold together this strong novel that deals with civilians who felt obliged to resist the Vietnam War, even unto violence. By Anna Quindlen. This engaging, entertaining first novel concerns a huge Irish Catholic family; its focus is the coming of age of Maggie Scanlan, age By Neil Bissoondath. Clarkson N. In these stories of exile by a Trinidadian now living in Canada, the West stands in for a dream denied, and for most of his emigres there is no going back. By Naguib Mahfouz. The second novel in the celebrated trilogy of the Nobel Prize winner opens in the early 's and relates the ups and downs of a Cairo family.

By David Wong Louie. This inventive first collection of short stories tends to feature protagonists with an unstable sense of identity, forced either to reinvent themselves appropriately or to sink into isolation. By Karen Osborn. A strong first novel of three women who grow old in a Southern mill town, looking for autonomy in a man's world. By John Vernon. Vernon's energetic third novel takes us from the squalid New York of the Gilded Age to the weird open spaces of Colorado, along with a picaresque hero and a couple of Bonapartes, one a cyborg.

By Robert Coover. A Professor Pinenut, retired from an American university, is the hero of Mr.

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Coover's Rabelaisian burlesque version of Collodi's puppet fable. By Ian Buruma. A curious fancy -- half novel and half travelogue -- in which Benjamin Disraeli, Oscar Wilde and the great Indian cricketer K. Ranjitsinhji share a huge joke on the English. By James Wilcox. A different species of aspiring-actress-in-New York novel, in which we see how life worked out for an earnest Smith graduate from the South. By Blanche McCrary Boyd. This spare and precise novel of a South Carolina girl who becomes a well-adjusted gay woman doubles as a circuitous feminist guide through 30 years of American life.

A concentrated, single-minded, compact novel that explores the life and consciousness of an abused little girl who grows up to be a hospital worker bent on secret deadly acts. By Harold Brodkey. In the writing for close to 30 years, this long, bold and puzzling novel concerns a famous writer's exploration of his own mind and efforts to recapture his deceased adoptive family. By Anne Tyler. Anne Tyler's 12th novel is the arresting, intimate, oddball story of a man overwhelmed by guilt over the death of his brother who sets out to redeem himself by joining the Church of the Second Chance, giving up sex and helping to raise the brother's orphaned children.

By Karen Joy Fowler. An accomplished, if strange, first novel that takes place in a Pacific Northwest dreamscape of the 's, organized, sort of, around a Chinese laborer and a mysterious woman in black. By Isaac Bashevis Singer. Another trip back to the master Yiddish novelist's Warsaw just after the turn of the century, this time in the company of Max Barabander, a rich, self-pitying liar and former thief.

By Antonio Benitez-Rojo. Four narratives, loosely founded on Spanish chronicles of the conquest of the Americas, collide and impinge in this convincing, unsettling novel by a Cuban.

By Rodney Hall. This energetic and ebullient first volume in a historical trilogy that ends with the already published "Captivity Captive" is narrated by a convict who is shackled to a corpse for a time and then adopted by Australian aborigines. By Sarah Gaddis. An elegiac first novel that revolves about the unmastered feelings between a talented young woman and her surly genius of a father. By Jonis Agee. A year of sin, passion, cracked Formica and Willie Nelson tunes in fictional Divinity, Iowa, where crazed people yearn to tell their life stories.

By Russell Banks. The author of "Continental Drift" coolly but generously engages an appalling theme: a town's need to fix the blame for a dreadful school bus accident so the world will make sense again. By Julian Barnes. Barnes's sixth novel -- credible, moving, funny and frightening -- concerns an impossible love triangle and raises, like his previous books, some risky questions about the nature of fiction itself. By Nina Berberova.

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Actually six novellas or longish stories by a Russian emigre, most of them brilliantly impressionistic evocations of the Russian enclave in Paris before and during World War II. By Carolivia Herron. This lyrical first novel, in which the daughter born of an incestuous relationship emerges as a kind of messiah, adds a mythic dimension to the African-American experience.