*WINNER OF THE BEST TRANSLATED BOOK AWARD USA*
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE EBRD PRIZE*
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE OXFORD-WEIDENFELD PRIZE*
“A writer and thinker of ever greater relevance, a voice whoSe wide-ranging screeds we ignore at our peril” CLAIRE MESSUD
“Her work is of such power and scope that had she remained alive, she would have been a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature” JOSIP NOVAKOVICH, Los Angeles Review of Books
An urgent new novel about death, war and memory, and a bristling follow-on from Belladonna.
In this extraordinary final work, Daša 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