By Daša Drndic
A bristling follow-on from Belladonna - shortlisted for both the EBRD Prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize
An urgent new novel about death, war and memory, and a bristling follow-on from Belladonna - shortlisted for both the EBRD Prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.
In this extraordinary final work, Dasa Drndic's combative, probing voice reaches new heights. In her relentless search for truth she delves into the darkest corners of our lives. And as she chastises, she also atones.
Andreas Ban failed in his suicide attempt. Even as his body falters and his lungs constrict, he taps on the glass of history - an impenetrable case filled with silent figures - and tries to summon those imprisoned within. Mercilessly, fearlessly, he continues to dissect society and his environment, shunning all favours as he goes after the evils and hidden secrets of others. History remembers the names of perpetrators, not of the victims.
Ban travels from Rijeka to Rovinj in nearby Istria, from Belgrade to Toronto to Tirana, from Parisian avenues to Italian palazzi. Ghosts follow him wherever he goes: chess grandmasters who disappeared during WWII; the lost inhabitants of Latvia; war criminals who found work in the C.I.A. and died peacefully in their beds. Ban's family is with him too: those he has lost and those with one foot in the grave. As if left with only a few pieces in a chess game, Andreas Ban plays a stunning last match against Death.
Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth
Dasa Drndic was a distinguished Croatian novelist and playwright. She was also been a translator, and a lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka. Trieste (2012), her first novel to be translated into English, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and has now been translated into many other languages. It was followed by Leica Format (2015) and Belladonna (2017). Belladonna has been shortlisted for both the inaugural EBRD prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and received stunning reviews. Dasa Drndic died in June 2018.
- Other details
- Publication date:
01 Nov 2018
- Page count:
Reading Dasa Drndic is not for the fainthearted. Anger radiates from Drndic's pages, and perhaps the book's greatest strength is the way in which it gives a voice to those people who are unable to tell their own stories. — Shaun Walker, Guardian
Drndic has in her own way composed an astonishment that extracts light from darkness — The Jewish Daily Forward
The formidable Dasa Drndic has created something like a modern-day Homeric narrative of wars that are anything but glorious. In Celia Hawkesworth, she has a translator of genius who shares her vision. It is difficult to suggest a contemporary English-language novel with which to compare it, or one that might even approach its eloquence and daring. — Eileen Battersby, Los Angeles Review of Books
A pensive, provocative novel of history, memory, and our endlessly blood-soaked times by one of the foremost writers to have emerged from the former Yugoslavia — Kirkus Reviews
One of the handful of truly great artists of our beleaguered epoch, her historically-based, semi-autobiographical fictions are as exhilarating as they are disturbing; dense, profound and extraordinarily readable — Eileen Battersby, Calvert Journal