Seven Stories Press
April 16, 2020
5.5 X 8.2 X 1.1 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author
ROBERT PERISIĆ's novel Our Man in Iraq garnered rave reviews from the New Yorker, the Times Literary Supplement, and NPR's "All Things Considered," among others, and was praised as "a must-read" by the Guardian. Perisic has published award-winning nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and criticism in his native Croatia, where both Our Man in Iraq and No-Signal Area were best sellers. He began writing short stories in the 1990s with a clear anti-war sentiment, during the days following the devastating war that tore apart the former Yugoslavia, and is now considered to be one of the most important writers and literary critics in the region. Perisic lives in Zagreb. ELLEN ELIAS-BURSAĆ is a translator of fiction and nonfiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. She has taught in the Harvard University Slavic Department and is a contributing editor to the online journal Asymptote. She lives in Boston.
"No-Signal Area is a mind-blowing read--a story of crime and heroism in the real-life aftermath of an all-white race war, told with wisdom, sophistication, and passion." --Nell Zink, author of Doxology "In No-Signal Area Perisic brilliantly captures the absurdity and chaos of a society in transition. A poetic punk ethos saturates the book--defiant, anarchic, exuberant, and ironic--perfect for a story about hustlers and workers and dreamers and mercenaries in post-war, post-truth Croatia." --Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking "Robert Perisic is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters." --Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom "A novel that shows postwar Croatia suspended between socialism and capitalism and between hopelessness and hilarity. The farcical tone that opens the latest from the highly acclaimed author leads to darker and deeper implications within an expansive novel that suggests insanity might be the best way to adapt to the new normal of a world gone mad and that language has blurred any distinction between truth and lies... Ultimately, these are people caught between -isms, between an unworkable past and an unthinkable future... Toward the end, the third-person narration gives way to a series of first-person soliloquies, and at first it can be a challenge to tell who is speaking--but that confusion ultimately reinforces the sense that individual voices, lives, and fates are being subsumed within the chaos of systems falling apart. The climax finds art markets and revenue streams converging in a way that seems both impossible and inevitable. A sharp, subversive novel of ideas that seems to reflect an era in which ideas themselves are bankrupt." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Two men arrive in a rural Eastern European town to arrange for the reopening of a local factory in this sharp portrayal of modern capitalism from Perisic (Our Man in Iraq). Upon arriving in "N," Oleg and Nikola plan to reopen the factory, which has been shut for many years after the break-up of the Soviet Union, with the help of the locals in order to manufacture two industrial turbines to fulfil a contract Oleg has arranged with "the Colonel," the leader of a Middle Eastern country. Once the factory is running, Perisic broadens the story's focus, moving back in time to give Nikola and Oleg's backstories, exploring the lives of villagers and those who have left or been forced from the village, and circling back to a crashing grand finale. Impressively blending the absurd, dire, and comic, Perisic relates often tragic events, but his characters somehow manage to persevere. This clever, ambitious take on the influences of capitalism on Eastern Europe will be perfect for fans of Umberto Eco." --Publishers Weekly "This is a remarkable novel; one that makes demands on the reader in all the best ways. On the surface, it is a scam story set in the backwater Balkan town of N., where those forgotten by time in the aftermath of the collapse of the Cold War and the very hot ones which followed, subtly acquires a rich, complex universality. Where lies and deception define reality, only the mad live in the unreality of truth. Everything becomes a show without substance--all the more alluring to those cast adrift. Filled with complicated characters, deft storytelliing, and a sublime intellectual depth, Robert Perisic's novel should be sought after and savored." --Shawn Wathen, Chapter One Bookstore, Hamilton, MT