Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov will read from his "quirky, compulsively readable" (New York Times) novel "The Physics of Sorrow", with Angelina Ilieva (University of Chicago, Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures)
September 17, 2015 at 6pm
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
Co-sponsored by Open Letter Books, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at The University of Chicago, the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria Chicago
About the book: 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.
Translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
About the author: Georgi Gospodinov was born in 1968 and is one of the most translated contemporary Bulgarian writers. His first novel, "Natural Novel" was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2005 and was praised by the New Yorker, New York Times, and several other prestigious review outlets. A collection of his short stories, And Other Stories was published by Northwestern University Press. "The Physics of Sorrow" is his second novel.
About Angelina Ilieva: Angelina Ilieva is a lecturer in Balkan and South Slavic Literature at the University of Chicago. Her general interests include the relation between representation and identity, anthropological approaches to culture, and contemporary critical theory. In particular, she is working on the role of trauma and sublimity in the emotional power of national identity.
About Open Letter Books: Open Letter Books is a nonprofit publishing house at the University of Rochester dedicated to connecting English-readers with literature from around the world. [Publishing ten titles a year, the press also runs the Three Percent website and the Best Translated Book Award, all with the mission of increasing the readership for international titles. Check them out at openletterbooks.org.