A new book of interconnected stories by cult literary figure William T. Vollmann was bought by Paul Slovakat Viking, the author's regular publisher until he went off to McSweeney's for his upcoming opus Rising Up and Rising Down, a huge meditation on the uses of violence that will appear in seven volumes this fall. The new book, bought from agent Susan Golombfor North American rights, is described as a series of tales that counterpoint the moral decisions made by selected pairs of real-life characters in Russia and Germany during the 20th century. Viking will publish in winter 2005, giving Vollmann fans time to finish his 4,000-page McSweeney's effort first.