Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1902, Felisberto Hernández was a talented pianist, playing in the silent-screen movie theaters when he was twelve years old. He later toured the small concert halls of Uruguay and Argentina. He married four times, published seven books, and died, impoverished, in 1964.
Piano Stories presents fifteen wonderful works by the great Uruguayan author Felisberto Hernández, “a writer like no other,” as Italo Calvino declares in his introduction: “like no European or Latin American. He is an ‘irregular,’ who eludes all classifications and labelings — yet he is unmistakable on any page to which one might randomly open one of his books.” Piano Stories contains classic tales such as “The Daisy Dolls,” “The Usher,” and “The Flooded House.”
Two Crocodiles highlights two literary masters from opposite ends of the world — Russia’s Fyodor Dostoevsky and Uruguay’s Felisberto Hernández. Dostoevsky’s crocodile, cruelly displayed in a travelling sideshow, gobbles whole a pretentious high-ranking civil servant. But the functionary survives unscathed and seizes his new unique platform to expound to the fascinated public. Dostoevsky’s Crocodile is a matchless, hilarious satire.
Hernández’s Crocodile, on the other hand, while also terribly funny, is a heartbreaker. A pianist struggling to make ends meet as a salesman finds success when he begins to weep before clients and audience alike, but then he can’t stop the crocodile tears.
Lands of Memory presents a half-dozen wonderful works by Felisberto Hernandez: "A writer like no other," Italo Calvino declared, "like no European or Latin American. He is an ’irregular,’ who eludes all classification and labels - yet he is unmistakable on any page to which one might randomly open one of his books." Named a Guardian Best Book of the Year by Alfred Brendel and A TLS Best Book of the Year by Michael Hofmann (who calls Felisberto "a loopier, vegetarian Kafka, inhabiting his mazy personal baroque"), Lands of Memory collects four astonishing stories and the two dreamlike novellas, "Around the Time of Clemente Colling" and "Lands of Memory."