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Seemingly the simplest of stories--a passing anecdote of village life--"Rock Crystal "opens up into a tale of almost unendurable suspense. This jewellike novella by the writer that Thomas Mann called "one of the most secretly daring and strangely gripping narrators in world literature" is among the most moving and memorable of Christmas stories.
Two children--Conrad and his little sister, Sanna--set out from their village in the Alps to visit their grandparents in the neighboring valley. It is the day before Christmas but the weather is mild, though of course night falls early in December, and the children are warned not to linger. The grandparents welcome the children with presents and pack them off with kisses. Then snow begins to fall, ever more thickly and steadily. Undaunted, the children press on, only to take a wrong turn. The snow rises higher and higher, time passes: it is deep night when the sky clears and Conrad and Sanna discover themselves out on the glacier, terrifying and beautiful, the heart of the void.
"A miracle of quiet beauty." Paperback 108 pages - (9/08)
--The New Yorker
ZC2859 Rock Crystal $12.95