A body gradually shrinks to an eye that sees its own end. A man screams with pain as if singing an Indian raga to entertain others for a pittance. Another man tries to force his body to adapt the shape of a cube because of the cleverly witty name his parents gave him. Still another one thinks he has died and came back to earth as a wisp of smoke, distraught by a series of mundane mishaps that can befall everyone these days. A mismatched couple, like actors in a Greek tragedy, play a kinky sex game to relieve themselves of their neuroses. And finally a resident of Lisbon is ordered to take the yellow streetcar, as everyone in the end is, and obediently plunges together with it into the emptiness before him on reaching the Atlantic. You won’t find any facile tall-tale lies designed to titillate the reader in these twenty-four “prose pieces.” A masterful storyteller that he is, Yuriy Tarnawsky has fashioned for us a unified novel-like narration about the absurd nature of human life out of painful truths which couldn’t have been easy for him to discover.
About the Author
Yuriy Tarnawsky has authored twenty collections of poetry, seven plays, eight books of fiction, a biography, and numerous articles and translations. He was born in Ukraine but raised and educated in the West. A linguist by training, he has worked as computer scientist specializing in natural language processing and as professor of Ukrainian literature at Columbia University. He writes in Ukrainian and English. His books include the novels Meningitis and Three Blondes and Death as well as a collection of mininovels Like Blood in Water, all from FC2, and Ukrainian Dumy, a translation of Ukrainian epic poetry published by Harvard University.