2015 Washington Post Notable Book
The Complete Works of Primo Levi, which includes seminal works like If This Is a Man and The Periodic Table, finally gathers all fourteen of Levi’s books―memoirs, essays, poetry, commentary, and fiction―into three slipcased volumes.
Primo Levi, the Italian-born chemist once described by Philip Roth as that “quicksilver little woodland creature enlivened by the forest’s most astute intelligence,” has largely been considered a heroic figure in the annals of twentieth-century literature for If This Is a Man, his haunting account of Auschwitz. Yet Levi’s body of work extends considerably beyond his experience as a survivor. Now, the transformation of Levi from Holocaust memoirist to one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers culminates in this publication of The Complete Works of Primo Levi. This magisterial collection finally gathers all of Levi’s fourteen books―memoirs, essays, poetry, and fiction―into three slip-cased volumes. Thirteen of the books feature new translations, and the other is newly revised by the original translator. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison introduces Levi’s writing as a “triumph of human identity and worth over the pathology of human destruction.” The appearance of this historic publication will occasion a major reappraisal of “one of the most valuable writers of our time” (Alfred Kazin).
The Complete Works of Primo Levi features all new translations of: The Periodic Table, The Drowned and the Saved, The Truce, Natural Histories, Flaw of Form, The Wrench, Lilith, Other People’s Trades, and If Not Now, When?―as well as all of Levi’s poems, essays, and other nonfiction work, some of which have never appeared before in English.