Here are 15 of Herling-Grudzinski’s most representative and accomplished short stories, selected by the author himself shortly before his death. In the title story a WWII German officer’s widow and a cemetery custodian are inexplicably shot to death. In others, a Polish woman raped by Serbs is pressured to keep her child; an archeologist’s wife who witnessed the war’s horrors mysteriously loses her memory; and a musicologist falls in love with a madrigalist and murderer. In his stories, noted for their “original traditionalism”, Herling-Grudzinski traces the individual fate that marks each person's private road toward reconciliation with death.
Since Herling-Grudzinski's collection of interlinked novellas, The Island
, was published to great acclaim in 1993, the number of American readers of this writer "of extraordinary talent and scope" (Louis Begley, The New York Times Book Review
) has grown. The Boston Globe
has called him "a writer of stylistic mastery and moral depth, who deserves to be placed among the best in any language."PURCHASE