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New books and reissues: Oliver Sacks, Josep Maria de Sagarra, Svetlana Alexievich

"Private Life" by Josep Maria de Sagarra Photo Credit: Archipelago

GRATITUDE, by Oliver Sacks. The neurologist and author (“Awakenings,” “The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat”) died of cancer in August. Between 2013 and 2015, he wrote four moving essays, published in The New York Times, reflecting on his life and facing mortality. They are collected in this slim volume, a coda to Sacks’ remarkable career. (Knopf, $17)

 

ZINKY BOYS: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, by Svetlana Alexievich. The work of this Belarusian journalist and author was little known in the United States when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in October. Now Norton is reissuing her 1992 book, which collects the powerful testimonies of soldiers, doctors and mothers from the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979-1989. (Norton, $15.95 paper)

 

PRIVATE LIFE, by Josep Maria de Sagarra. This scandalous 1932 roman à clef of Barcelona’s high society is considered one of the best ever written about that seductive Mediterranean city. Later censored by the Franco regime, the original novel — full of gambling and love affairs, back-stabbing and social climbing — has now been translated from Catalan by Mary Ann Newman. (Archipelago, $20 paper)

 

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