“It’s difficult to say what my shadow world is made of and what it means. It’s like a dream you know you are dreaming, that’s where its truth lies: in its being real beyond the real. Its structure is that of an iris, or rather of fleeting gradations, already gone while still there, like time in our lives.” – Antonio Tabucchi
These twenty-four timeless stories in Message from the Shadows sift through Antonio Tabucchi’s shadow world. Here, characters step into new dreams with ease, open their mouths to swallow the sky, and idle whales ponder the fragile state of mankind. At times, Tabucchi’s world spins toward a single fate: a young boy’s lament is said to gather eels to the shore, or a woman in a cotton dress sings, “I was left with a handful of air” and a young man follows her curious echo. In crackling, tender prose, Tabucchi illuminates the small joys and laments of ordinary people. In these stories, time staggers, straddling the narrow gap between dream and reality. With each brilliant glimpse, we find ourselves examining trees, evening shadows, train journeys, and wrinkled faces of a shared world with fresh eyes.