Buy new or used from an indie through our partner Biblio:
Never before translated into English, the wonderfully comic novel A House in Istria concerns marriage, a man's desperate desire to acquire the house next door, and what can happen when West meets East. In formerly communist Eastern Europe, there are many empty houses. Inhabited in turn by very different familiesJews, fascists, communiststhe houses now stand empty, decaying, the objects of countless lawsuits. Richard Swartz's quirky and marvelous first novel revolves around one such house and the Western European man obsessed with it. Narrated by his wife, the action takes place over just seven blazing hot days in Istria, formerly Yugoslavia. His obsession drags his poor wife, a native of Istria, into long burlesque conversations with lawyers and owners; her out-of-control husband (who doesn't speak the language) involves them in surreal scenes with nearly insane characters. Since everything the husband knows (and everything the reader knows) must be channeled through the wife, we enter a world in which nothing is directly intelligibleand everything is skewed. The unusual, antic, hilarious style calls Capek, Gogol, and Kafka all to mind.
New Directions Publishing Corporation
October 17, 2002
6.02 X 8.48 X 0.88 inches | 0.94 pounds
Earn by promoting books
About the Author
Anna Paterson is a translator of Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and German. She is the author of Scotland's Landscape: Endangered Icon.