by Guy de Maupassant.
This week's literary journey begins with the Orient Express in Paris.
Guy de Maupassant viewed the world through dissatisfied yet vivacious eyes, and this short story of a peasant haggling, even in the face of death, demonstrates his classic gifts of warmth and pithy observation.
Reader: Prunella Scales
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by Ilse Aichinger.
The second story in this week's literary journey aboard the Orient Express is from Austria.
Ilse Aichinger's haunting, metaphorical tale is about a lonely young woman who learns to come to terms with death through her relationship with the angels she imagines filling the night sky.
Reader Julia Ford
The third story in this week's literary journey aboard the Orient Express is by the great Italian realist writer Giovanni Verga.
Two young and penniless lovers in Milan face up to the impossible future of their young love in the face of harsh economics.
Reader: Anna Savva.
by Yordon Yovkov.
The fourth story in this week's literary journey aboard the Orient Express is from Bulgaria.
Yovkov was a leading novelist and playwright.
In this story, a trap is laid for a handsome young bandit when he falls in love with the beautiful daughter of the local governor.
Reader David Horovitch
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The final story in this week's literary journey aboard the Orient Express is from Turkey. Aziz Nesin's work reflects his early acquaintance with the popular Islamic tradition and the storytelling of the `Punch and Judy' tradition in the poor neighbourhoods in which he grew up. Reader: Derek Griffiths.