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About the Author
Georgi Gospodinov is one of Bulgaria's most lauded authors. His novel Time Shelter won the International Booker Prize and the Premio Strega Europeo, among other prizes.
Angela Rodel is a prolific translator of Bulgarian literature and won the International Booker Prize for translation.
A radical new therapy tests the power of nostalgia in the electric and fantastical latest from Gospodinov (The Physics of Sorrow).The clever prose sells the zany premise and imbues it with poignant longing: 'Everything happens years after it has happened.... Most likely 1939 did not exist in 1939, there were just mornings when you woke up with a headache, uncertain and afraid.' Thought-provoking and laced with potent satire, this deserves a spot next to Kafka.-- "Publishers Weekly"
The elegant translation and the short, lyrical chapters in this dystopian tale offer a poignant ode to the dual tragedies of personal and universal memory loss.--Lucy Lockley "Booklist"
Mr. Gospodinov, one of Bulgaria's most popular contemporary writers, is a nostalgia artist. In the manner of Orhan Pamuk and Andreï Makine, his books are preoccupied with memory, its ambiguous pleasures and its wistful, melancholy attraction....This difficult but rewarding novel concludes with an image of Europe brought to the brink of renewed conflict--an abstraction that recent events have imbued with the terrible force of reality.--Sam Sacks "Wall Street Journal"
The morality of artificially returning people to the past, and the broader question of whether this truly brings solace -- whether indulgence in nostalgia is curative or pernicious -- is the central question of Georgi Gospodinov's newly translated novel... Adroit execution of such wordplay is a testament to the talent of the novel's translator, Angela Rodel. [Gospodinov] is sympathetic to the poignancy of things from before -- obsolete objects, old brands of coffee, the skipping of antique records -- but rebuffs the scapegoats of globalism, immigration and modernization that supposedly killed them off; we are all complicit in the destruction of history, and going backward can only mean intolerance and the exaltation of traditionalist kitsch. It's impossible, when reading all this, not to think of the reactionary sentiments behind Brexit and MAGA and even Putin's Greater Russia irredentism, but Gospodinov is too delicate to resort to crude political satire.... Touching and intelligent.--Adrian Nathan West "New York Times Book Review"
A chronicle of time itself: this is the ambitious task undertaken by Georgi Gospodinov, Bulgaria's greatest living writer and annalist of an entire nation's endless complaints and missed chances, in his Strega Prize-winning novel Time Shelter.... Finished in Berlin just as COVID was on the verge of sweeping through Europe, the novel is at times unnervingly prescient as it issues warnings against the perils of infection -- physical, political, even metaphysical.... A poet at heart, Gospodinov can also write a novel in a single sentence: 'The past is my home country....' He uses the absurdities of the very specific universe of Bulgarian pain, of Bulgarian provincial poverty, to unveil deep wounds.... Angela Rodel, the most prolific and accomplished translator of Bulgarian literature into English, carries over Gospodinov's grand, flowing Bulgarian sentences... into vivid English.... Rodel is part of a grouping of extraordinary women translators working to preserve linguistic diversity.... who are today producing and exporting some of the most compelling and interesting contemporary literature from Bulgaria.--Isadora Angel "Astra"
[An] antic fantasy of European politics.... 'History is still news, ' Gospodinov writes, cunningly drawing attention to the violence that the past wreaks on the present.-- "The New Yorker"
In this antic fantasy of European politics, narrated by a fictionalized version of the author, an enigmatic friend of his designs 'a clinic of the past, ' which soothes Alzheimer's patients with environments from a time they can still remember.... 'History is still news, ' Gospodinov writes, cunningly drawing attention to the violence that the past wreaks on the present.--New Yorker, "Best Books of 2022"