Primo Levi Fiction in The New Yorker

I recently read three books by Primo Levi: If This is a Man, The Periodic Table, and The Drowned and the Saved. His literary memoirs are remarkable and in my opinion, The Periodic Table is one of the most original, genre-bending works I've ever read. I finished The Drowned and the Saved last night and still have to let it all sink in, in part because it's his darkest work and his last before he died. When he wrote If this is a Man he seemed to be optimistic that a literary narrative about his experiences in Auschwitz could help stop anything like the Holocaust from happening again. Forty years later, however, The Drowned and the Saved seems to have been written precisely because he increasingly felt his words had fallen on deaf ears. His haunting and disturbing essays are uncomfortably relevant even today.

Read Primo Levi's short story in The New Yorker, "A Tranquil Star".

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