Georgi Gospodinov is unique in many ways. I've been reading him since the beginning and I know that no one can combine an intriguing concept, wonderful imagination and perfect writing technique like he can. This is great prose.In this book, time sneaks away, and then returns, reconstituted. Franz Ferdinand is re-assassinated. The cigarettes you liked as a teenager are on sale again. Communism is back, and nice. The book is a satire, witty and scorching, but it is also wise and tender.An extraordinary romp through time and memory, a beautifully written and wonderfully inventive meditation on what the past means to us, whether we can recapture it and how it defines our present. This is the perfect novel for these cloistered atemporal times.Memory and kitsch - and their painful congruence in post-Soviet Europe - will be familiar themes to readers of Gospodinov's last book, The Physics of Sorrow. The novels share allusive, discontinuous narratives, an appetite for switching genres, an alertness to the power and the fragility of authorship and a dark humour rimed with grief. But in Time Shelter, finished shortly before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Gospodinov's sights are higher and his scope - conceptually and geographically - far wider . . . And the paradoxes that hummed quietly in the background of previous books roar into apocalyptic high gearGospodinov's digressive, philosophical novel is less a work of realist literature than an allegory about the perils of looking backward . . . translator Rodel keeps the narrator's wry voice consistent . . . the story achieves a pleasurably Borges-ian strangeness while sending a warning signal about how memory can be glitch-y and dangerous . . . An ambitious, quirky, time-folding yarnA 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 . . . Thought-provoking and laced with potent satire, this deserves a spot next to KafkaGeorgi Gospodinov is one of the most interesting and innovative writers of this century and Time Shelter is a beautiful reflection on time, nostalgia and the soul.
A GUARDIAN AND FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
'The most exquisite kind of literature... I've put it on a special shelf in my library that I reserve for books that demand to be revisited every now and then. '
OLGA TOKARCZUK, author of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
'Could not be more timely... It's funny and absurd, but it's also frightening, because even as Gospodinov plays with the idea as fiction, the reader begins to recognise something rather closer to home... A writer of great warmth as well as skill'
'In equal measure playful and profound, Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary. I loved it'
CLAIRE MESSUD, author of The Woman Upstairs
'A genrebusting novel of ideas... Gospodinov's vision of tomorrow is the nightmare from which Europe knows it must awake. And accident, in combination with the book's own merits, may just have created a classic'
'Gospodinov is one of Europe's most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists, and this his most expansive, soulful and mind-bending book'
DAVE EGGERS, author of The Circle
'Touching and intelligent'
NEW YORK TIMES
'A powerful and brilliant novel: clear-sighted, foreboding, enigmatic'
SANDRO VERONESI, author of The Hummingbird
'An immensely enjoyable book which achieves depth with an affable narrative voice'
In Time Shelter, an enigmatic flÃ¢neur named Gaustine opens a 'clinic for the past' that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer's sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time.
As Gaustine's assistant, the unnamed narrator is tasked with collecting the flotsam and jetsam of the past, from 1960s furniture and 1940s shirt buttons to scents and even afternoon light. But as the rooms become more convincing, an increasing number of healthy people seek out the clinic as a 'time shelter', hoping to escape from the horrors of our present - a development that results in an unexpected conundrum when the past begins to invade the present.
Intricately crafted, and eloquently translated by Angela Rodel, Time Shelter cements Georgi Gospodinov's reputation as one of the indispensable writers of our times, a major voice in international literature.
Georgi Gospodinov is one of Europe's most acclaimed writers. Originally from Bulgaria, his novels have won his country's most prestigious literary prize twice and have been shortlisted for more than a dozen international prizes - including the 2015 PEN Literary Award for Translation, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, the Premio Strega Europeo, the Bruecke Berlin Preis, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Literaturpreis. He has won the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the 2019 Angelus Literature Central Europe Prize and the 2021 Premio Strega Europeo, among others.
|Author:||Georgi GospodinovAngela Rodel|