Fiction. The themes of alienation, abandonment, and fear of death, developed in LIKE BLOOD IN WATER, the first book of The Placebo Effect Trilogy, are picked up in the second book, THE FUTURE OF GIRAFFES, which is devoted to the topic of childhood. A boy takes a nap during a family picnic and finds himself all alone on waking up. A cognitively impaired savant boy decides he has had enough of living and trudges off to his grave. A boy leaves his hometown called Blood City in search of one like Menton after his mother’s funeral. Another boy is kept imprisoned in a quarry in a barbarous experiment of survival. Still another one dreams of turning into a rat to hide in a wall so as not to be hurt by people when his parents are gone.
The five mininovels that make up THE FUTURE OF GIRAFFES, as is the case with its two companions, all employ negative text—gaps of vital information which the reader is obliged to supply himself. By bringing personal experience into the story, the reader makes it more vivid and real, becoming in the process its co-author together with the author of the text.
About the Author
Yuriy Tarnawsky has authored more than two dozen books of poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and translations. He was born in Ukraine but raised and educated in the West. An engineer and linguist by training, he has worked as a computer scientist at IBM Corporation and professor of Ukrainian literature and culture at Columbia University. He writes in Ukrainian and English and resides in the New York City area. His English-language books include the books of fiction Meningitis (1978) and Three Blondes and Death (1993) from FC2, and from JEF Books, the play Not Medea (1998), Short Tails (2011), and the trilogy LIKE BLOOD IN WATER, THE FUTURE OF GIRAFFES, and VIEW OF DELFT (2013)