Nonrequired Reading Prose Pieces

ISBN-10: 0151006601
ISBN-13: 9780151006601
Edition: 2001
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Description: Wislawa Szymborska's poems are admired around the world, and her unsparing vision, tireless wit, and deep sense of humanity are cherished by countless readers. Unknown to most of them, however, Szymborska also worked for several decades as a  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Wislawa Szymborska's poems are admired around the world, and her unsparing vision, tireless wit, and deep sense of humanity are cherished by countless readers. Unknown to most of them, however, Szymborska also worked for several decades as a columnist, reviewing a wide variety of books under the unassuming title "Nonrequired Reading." As readers of her poems would expect, the short prose pieces collected here are anything but ordinary. Reflecting the author's own eclectic tastes and interests, the pretexts for these ruminations range from books on wallpapering, cooking, gardening, and yoga, to more lofty volumes on opera and world literature. Unpretentious yet incisive, these charming pieces are on a par with Szymborska's finest lyrics, tackling the same large and small questions with a wonderful curiosity.

Wislawa Szymborska was born in Bnin, Poland on July 2, 1923. After the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, she found work as a railway clerk to avoid deportation to Germany as a forced laborer. In her free time, she studied at illegal underground universities. After World War II, she resumed her formal studies in Polish literature and sociology at Jagiellonian University, but never earned a degree. In 1945, she published her first poem, I Am Looking for a Word, in a weekly supplement to the local newspaper. Her first book of poetry was published in 1952. Her other volumes of poetry include View with a Grain of Sand, People on a Bridge, Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems, and Here. In 1991 she won the Goethe Prize and in 1995 she was awarded the Herder Prize. She won the Nobel Prize for Poetry in 1996 and was awarded The Order of the White Eagle in recognition of her contribution to her country's culture in 2011. From 1953 to 1981, she worked as a poetry editor and columnist for the literary weekly Literary Life, where she wrote a column called Non-Required Reading. She died of lung cancer on February 1, 2012 at the age of 88.

From the Author xi
Absent-Minded Professors
The Importance of Being Scared Shortchanged By the Numbers
Dream On Musical Chairs Compulsory Happiness
The Cost of Chivalry Seeing the Light That's the Spirit In Cold Blood
The State of Fashion Love in Bloom Feet and Fate Humor's
Younger Brother Great Love Bones to Pick The Scales of Justice Home Improvement
Nowhere to Hide Who's Who Talking Pictures
Glass Houses
Page-Turners
The Long-Distance Walker Back to Nature
Fair Game Changing Places
Blowing Your Own Horn
The Road to Perfection Trouble in Paradise Zuzia Lilliput Lost Divas
The Psychic Life of Pets
The Ninety-Pound Weakling Do It Yourself
To Be Continued How Not to Be Noble For Every Occasion
Family Affairs On Your Toes Childhood and Before Old Friends
The Myth of Poetry
In Praise of Birds Gladiators and Others
Bringing Up the Rear Catherine the Not-So-Great
The Courtier's Inferno
The Art of Destruction Cosmic Solitude
The Impresario Close Calls What's the Mystery?
The Vandals' Fate
What's Dreaming? Too Late, or When?
Your Honor Roman Thickets Black Tears Graphology on the Barricades
I Was Traveling with the Fairest Mummies and Us Chips Will Fly Monstrum Ella
Take the Cow Windfall Willem Kolff Hammurabi and After Disneyland
Hugs for Humanity Truth and Fiction
The Prince's Feet, Not to Mention Other Body Parts
They Were Round Dates
The Female Pharaoh Cat Music
The End of the World in Plural
The Nut and the Gilded Shell Let Me Take
This Occasion A Word on Nakedness
In Relaxation's Clutches Many Questions
The Piano and the Rhinoceros Lace Hankies Mountain Climbing Balloons
Ten Minutes of Solitude
A Bad Little Boy At Last Blocks and Blockheads Buttons In Praise of Questions
The Cardboard-Eating Cadaver Nervousness
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