By Antonio Tabucchi, one of the most renowned voices in European literature and the foremost Italian writer of his generation, The Woman of Porto Pim is made up of enchanting fragments about the archipelago of the Azores. Told by a visiting Italian writer, himself a collector of the inhabitants’ legends, relics, and histories, the tales include that of a rich married woman’s forbidden love with a humble Azorean fisherman during WWII, and a whaling expedition of eras past.
There is in Tabucchi's stories the touch of the true magician, who astonishes us by never trying too hard for his subtle, elusive and remarkable effects.
— The San Francisco Examiner
[Tabucchi's] prose creates a deep, near-profound and sometimes heart-wrenching nostalgia and constantly evokes the pain of recognizing the speed of life's passing which everyone knows but few have the strength to accept ... Wonderfully thought-provoking and beautiful.
— Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered
Tabucchi's work has an almost palpable sympathy for the oppressed.
— The New York Times
What a strange and wonderful book this is! If, like me, you are interested in shipwrecks, whales, the Azores and the unique way in which only literature can bring a location to life, and if you like the unclassifiable, small works by authors such as Michael Ondaatje and Italo Calvino — then have I got the book for you ... Wildly inventive.
— Minneapolis Star-Tribune
If you’re looking for pure literary pleasure and discovering an author not well-known to English-language readers, look no further than this slim sampling of disparate pieces (first published in Italian in 1983 and superbly translated by Tim Parks) from Antonio Tabucchi.
— The Arts Fuse
The attraction here is not only a book which is laid out with grace and elegance, the Archipelago touch, but in Tabucchi's lovely style...
— Oliver Morton, Ralph Mag
The Woman of Porto Pim is one of the earliest texts in Tabucchi’s impressive oeuvre, but it reads as the work of a mature author, one with the patience to listen to the small stories of others and tease out their greatness.
— World Literature Today