Author: Georgi Gospodinov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
9781474623070 | PB | pp. 304 | 2022 | Orion Books
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov is a novel that explores the dangers of dwelling in the past. The book was a deserving winner of the International Booker Prize 2023.
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Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov is a novel that explores the dangers of dwelling in the past. The book tells the story of Gaustine, an enigmatic flaneur who opens a “clinic for the past” that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers. The clinic recreates the pasts in which patients felt most secure, allowing them to inhabit their temporal “safe spaces.” The clinic begins with different rooms and floors, decorated with a completist’s precision and an obsessive’s eye for detail, including particular cigarette brands, lampshades, wallpaper, and archive magazines. Decade by decade, therapeutic time-shelters allow patients to escape the chaos of the present and find refuge in the past. The novel’s title, Time Shelter, is a neologism that refers to a place where people can go to escape the chaos of the present and find refuge in the past. The book raises important questions about the role of memory in our lives and whether our memories of the past, real or imagined, can protect us from the temporal chaos outside our daily lives. The novel has been praised for its humor, absurdity, and frighteningly accurate portrayal of the weaponization of nostalgia in the current political climate. The underlying theme in Time Shelter is whether our memories of the past, real or imagined, can protect us from the temporal chaos outside our daily lives.
The book was a deserving winner of the International Booker Prize 2023.
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About the Contributors
Georgi Gospodinov (b. 1968) is a Bulgarian poet, writer and playwright.
Angela Rodel is a freelance literary translator living in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has a BA from Yale University and an MA from UCLA in linguistics.
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