God’s Spies

Stories in Defiance of Oppression

An international selection of stories, some satirical and subversive, others shocking or poignantly hopeful, all exposing the dark varieties of political oppression, in which writers such as Isaac Babel, Natalia Ginzburg, and Ken Saro-Wiwa serve as God’s spies, bearing witness to torture, greed, and death.

First Edition

Toronto, Macfarlane Walter & Ross, 1999
Softcover, 407 p.

Selection, introduction, contributor notes by Alberto Manguel
Guillermo Martínez, Anna Seghers and Edmundo Valadés translated by Alberto Manguel


  • Introduction  
  • VLADIMIR NABOKOV: Tyrants Destroyed
  • ANNA SEGHERS: The Dead Girls’ Outing
  • NATALIA GINZBURG: Winter in the Abruzzi
  • ISAAC BABEL: And Then There Were None
  • VERCORS: The Silence of the Sea
  • BESSIE HEAD: The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses
  • EDMUNDO VALADES: Permission for Death Is Granted
  • SEAN O’FAOLAIN: The Death of Stevey Long
  • PAULE BARTON: Emilie Plead Choose One Egg
  • WANG MENG: The Stubborn Porridge
  • NEDIM GURSEL: The Graveyard of Unwritten Books
  • REZA BARAHENI: The Dismemberment
  • HOWARD FAST: The Lart Ant
  • E. B. DONGALA: The Man
  • ANTONIO SKARMETA: The Composition
  • KEN SARO-WIWA: Verdict
  • RACHID MIMOUNI: The Escapee
  • GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ: Bon Voyage Mr President
  • Notes on Contributors  
  • Sources



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