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Junichiro Tanizaki’s Naomi is both a hilarious story of one man’s obsession and a brilliant reckoning of a nation’s cultural confusion. When twenty-eight-year-old Joji first lays eyes upon the teenage waitress Naomi, he is instantly smitten by her exotic, almost Western appearance. Determined to transform her into the perfect wife and to whisk her away from the seamy underbelly of post-World War I Tokyo, Joji adopts and ultimately marries Naomi, paying for English and music lessons that promise to mold her into his ideal companion. But as she grows older, Joji discovers that Naomi is far from the naïve girl of his fantasies. And, in Tanizaki’s masterpiece of lurid obsession, passion quickly descends into comically helpless masochism.
A Heart so White is the breathtaking international bestseller and IMPAC Award-winning masterpiece by Javier Marías, whose highly-anticipated new novel The Infatuations is published in 2013. This Penguin Modern Classics edition features a new Introduction by Jonathan Coe. A Heart so White begins as, In the middle of a family lunch Teresa, just married, goes to the bathroom, unbuttons her blouse and shoots herself in the heart. What made her kill herself immediately after her honeymoon? Years later, this mystery fascinates the young newlywed Juan, whose father was married to Teresa before he married Juan's mother. As Juan edges closer to the truth, he begins to question his own relationships, and whether he really wants to know what happened. Haunting and unsettling, A Heart So White is a breathtaking portrayal of two generations, two marriages, the relentless power of the past and the terrible price of knowledge.
Not so long ago Emilio Brentani was a promising young author. Now he is an insurance agent on the fast track to forty. He gains a new lease on life, though, when he falls for the young and gorgeous Angiolina-except that his angel just happens to be an unapologetic cheat. But what begins as a comedy of infatuated misunderstanding ends in tragedy, as Emilio's jealous persistence in his folly-against his friends' and devoted sister's advice, and even his own best knowledge-leads to the loss of the one person who, too late, he realizes he truly loves. Marked by deep humanity and earthy humor, by psychological insight and an elegant simplicity of style, As a Man Grows Older (Senilità, in Italian; the English title was the suggestion of Svevo's great friend and admirer, James Joyce) is a brilliant study of hopeless love and hapless indecision. It is a masterwork of Italian literature, here beautifully rendered into English in Beryl de Zoete's classic translation.