Fiction. The themes of alienation, abandonment, and fear of death that permeate THE FUTURE OF GIRAFFES and THE VIEW OF DELFT, second and third books of The Placebo Effect Trilogy, are originally brought up in the first book, LIKE BLOOD IN WATER. A man accidentally wanders into a session similar to Primal Scream therapy and devotes his life to screaming from then on. A pianist stops playing because he feels his right hand isn’t there. A father searches for a bible and eats toothpaste in anticipation of his daughter’s drowning at a seaside resort called Penal Port. A Luciano Pavarotti look-alike agrees to be killed in a reenactment of the murder of Agamemnon. And a man dresses up in a mountain climber’s outfit as he goes in for a surgery procedure he has been trying to avoid at all cost.
The five mininovels that make up LIKE BLOOD IN WATER, as 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).