The Library :: Zoran Živković

The Library

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić

One of the most beloved “mosaic novels,” The Library presents a series of tales centered on our love of books—taken, at times, to extremes. A writer encounters a website where all his possible future books are on display; a lonely man faces an infinite flow of hardback books through his mailbox; an ordinary library turns by night into an archive of souls; the Devil sets about raising standards of infernal literacy; one book houses all books; a connoisseur of hardcovers strives to expel a lone paperback from his collection.

Winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella!

Also included in Impossible Stories I


  • Živković explores and fantasises about the relationship between author, text, and reader—but where a lesser talent would slip into self-indulgence, Živković combines authentic modesty and memorable imagery to create a set of worlds that linger in the reader’s memory.
    —Nicholas Whyte, Strange Horizons
  • …a cycle of six thematically linked stories, droll renditions of the nightmares ensuing upon misplaced, or (of course) excessive, bibliophilia. Živković is, as ever, polished, and frighteningly intelligent; book-lovers will recognize intimately the frissons and frustrations he evokes.
    —Nicholas Gevers, Locus
  • Živković piles invention on invention with unselfconscious ease.
    —Peter Loftus, Interzone
  • Like Jorge Luis Borges, he can create strange, alternate universes. Like David Lynch, he can balance menace and melancholy—be cruel and be funny at the same time.
    —Richard Wallace, The Seattle Times


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