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 some three dozen books of fiction, poetry, drama, essays, and translations in Ukrainian and English, including the novels Meningitis, and Three Blondes and Death, the collections of short fictions Short Tails and Crocodile Smiles, The Placebo Effect Trilogy collection of interrelated mininovels Like Blood in Water, The Future of Giraffes, and View of Delft, the novels Warm Arctic Nights and The Iguanas of Heat, the play Not Medea, a volume of Heuristic poetry Modus Tollens, and the book of essays Claim to Oblivion. He was born in Ukraine, but was raised and educated in the West. An engineer and linguist by training, he has worked as a computer scientist, specializing in Artificial Intelligence, at IBM Corporation and as a professor of Ukrainian literature and culture at Columbia University. For his contribution to Ukrainian literature, in 2008, he was awarded the Prince Yaroslav the Wise Order of Merit by Ukrainian government. He resides with his wife Karina in the New York City metropolitan area.