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Two sisters travel to Sofia—in a convoy of luxury limousines arranged by a fellow Bulgarian exile—to bury their less-than-beloved father. Like tourists, they are chauffeured by the ever-charming Ruben Apostoloff—one sister in the back seat, one in the passenger seat; one sharp-tongued and aggressive, the other polite and considerate. In a caustic voice, Apostoloff shows them the treasures of his beloved country: the peacock-eye pottery (which contains poisonous dye), the Black Sea coast (which is utterly destroyed), the architecture (a twentieth-century crime). His attempts to win them over seem doomed to fail, as the sisters’ Bulgarian heritage is a heavy burden—their father, a successful doctor and melancholy immigrant, appears in their dreams still dragging the rope with which he hanged himself. An account of a daughter’s bitterly funny reckoning with her father and his country, laden with linguistic wit and black humour, Apostoloff brings the unique voice of Sibylle Lewitscharoff to an eager audience.
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About the Contributors
The author has written several novels, including 36 Gerechte (1994), Pong (1998) and Blumenberg (2011). She received the Georg Büchner Prize, Germany’s most prestigious literary award, in 2013.
The translator has translated many works from German to English. She is also the coeditor of no man’s land, an online literary magazine of contemporary German writing in English.
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