As the collection's title suggests, time's passage is the fil rouge of these stories. All of Tabucchi's characters struggle to find routes of escape from a present that is hard to bear, and from places in which political events have had deeply personal ramifications for their own lives.
Each of the nine stories in Time Ages in a Hurry is an imaginative inquiry into something hidden or disguised, which can be uncovered not by reason but only by feeling and intuition, by what isn't said. Disquieted and disoriented yet utterly human in their loves and fears, the characters in these vibrant and often playful stories suffer from what Tabucchi once referred to as a "corrupted relationship with history." Each protagonist must confront phantoms from the past, misguided or false beliefs, and the deepest puzzles of identity--and each in his or her own way ends up experiencing "an infinite sense of liberation, as when finally we understand something we'd known all along and didn't want to know."