Edited and with an Introduction by James Kincaid and with an Afterword by Paul Sawyer
Say there was a novel in which Holden Caulfield was an alcoholic and Lolita was a photographer’s assistant and, somehow, they met in Bright Lights, Big City. He’s blinded by love. She by ambition. Diary of an Oxygen Thief is an honest, hilarious, and heartrending novel, but above all, a very realistic account of what we do to each other and what we allow to have done to us.
Picking up the story where it left off, the controversial protagonist of cult classic Diary of an Oxygen Thief retools his advertising skills to seduce women online. It’s a pursuit that quickly becomes a dangerous fixation, often requiring even more creativity and deception than his award-winning ad campaigns. Dazzling, daunting, and darkly hilarious, this spellbinding sequel is a spectacular indictment of a modern love twisted beyond recognition.
This title was previously published as Chameleon on a Kaleidoscope.
It is written in the chronicles of the Sassanian monarchs that there once lived an illustrious prince, beloved by his own subjects for his wisdom and his prudence, and feared by his enemies for his courage and for the hardy and well-disciplined army of which he was the leader. This prince had two sons, the elder called Schah-riar, and the younger Schah-zenan, both equally good and deserving of praise.
When the old king died at the end of a long and glorious reign, Schah-riar, his eldest son, ascended the throne and reigned in his stead. Schah-zenan, however, was not in the least envious, and a friendly contest soon arose between the two brothers as to which could best promote the happiness of the other. Schah-zenan did all he could to show his loyalty and affection, while the new sultan loaded his brother with all possible honors, and in order that he might in some degree share the sultan's power and wealth, bestowed on him the kingdom of Great Tartary. Schah-zenan immediately went to take possession of the empire allotted him, and fixed his residence at Samarcand, the chief city.
After a separation of ten years Schah-riar so ardently desired to see his brother, that he sent his first vizier,1 with a splendid embassy, to invite him to revisit his court. As soon as Schah-zenan was informed of the approach of the vizier, he went out to meet him, with all his ministers, in most magnificent dress, and inquired after the health of the sultan, his brother. Having replied to these affectionate inquiries, the vizier told the purpose of his coming. Schah-zenan, who was much affected at the kindness and recollection of his brother, then addressed the vizier in these words: "Sage vizier, the sultan, my brother, does me too much honor. It is impossible that his wish to see me can exceed my desire of again beholding him. You have come at a happy moment. My kingdom is tranquil, and in ten days' time I will be ready to depart with you. Meanwhile pitch your tents on this spot, and I will order every refreshment and accommodation for you and your whole train."
For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.
A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).