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Max Gurvits (Director / Cross Border Angels)
Right now the four books Iʼm reading are The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, 45th Parallel by Polina Zherebtsova (in Russian),“The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov (in Bulgarian), and re-reading the Dutch classic Au Pair by W.F. Hermans (in Dutch). Itʼs hard to say what we expect to gain from reading. Perhaps only true for introverts, but books are a way to look really deep into ourselves and have very meaningful conversations in our mind about the questions we think about as we go about our daily lives.
A finalist for both the Strega Europeo and Gregor von Rezzori awards (and winner of every Bulgarian honor possible), The Physics of Sorrow reaffirms Georgi Gospodinov's place as one of Europe's most inventive and daring writers.
Using the myth of the Minotaur as its organizing image, the narrator of Gospodinov's long-awaited novel constructs a labyrinth of stories about his family, jumping from era to era and viewpoint to viewpoint, exploring the mindset and trappings of Eastern Europeans. Incredibly moving—such as with the story of his grandfather accidentally being left behind at a mill—and extraordinarily funny—see the section on the awfulness of the question how are you?—Physics is a book that you can inhabit, tracing connections, following the narrator down various side passages, getting pleasantly lost in the various stories and empathizing with the sorrowful, misunderstood Minotaur at the center of it all.
Like the work of Dave Eggers, Tom McCarthy, and Dubravka Ugresic, The Physics of Sorrow draws you in with its unique structure, humanitarian concerns, and stunning storytelling.
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