cover image Little Misunderstandings of No Importance: Stories

Little Misunderstandings of No Importance: Stories

Antonio Tabucchi. New Directions Publishing Corporation, $11.95 (136pp) ISBN 978-0-8112-1029-4

The author's opening note admits his fascination with ""uncertainties, belated understandings, useless remorse, treacherous memories.'' Such are the ambiguous situations that inform these 11 pleasantly brooding tales. Translated from the Italian of Tabucchi (Letter from Casablanca), their flavor is international, with settngs that include Paris, Lisbon, Madras, and New York. ``Sleight of Hand'' involves an undercover rendezvous in which a mysterious packet is delivered during a performance at the Metropolitan Opera. The two contacts, a man and a woman, develop an intimacy not scripted by their duties. Art and actuality mingle in ``Cinema'' when an actor and actress find truth in the lines they recite before the camera. In ``Rooms,'' the aging Amelia reflects before burning the writings left by her famous brother, now dead: words ``imprison things, hardening them into a glassy fixity,'' but realities can never be captured. Tabucchi's ruminative musing will appeal to readers who care about the subtlest relationships among families, friends and lovers. (September 25)