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The Sinistra Zone

by Ádám Bodor

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The Sinistra Zone beging á la Chandler. But that's not how it continues. A finely wrought, postmodern feat of literary virtuosity; a chronicle of a bygone world. Again and again I was amazed by the fullness of the words, by the compact and luminous text – by the rich and powerful fabric that Ádám Bodor has woven into these pages. 

—Péter Esterházy

Lyrical, surreal, and yet unsettlingly realistic, The Sinistra Zone swims in the totalitarian backwaters of Eastern Europe

The Sinistra Zone

Fiction by Ádám Bodor

translated from the Hungarian by Paul Olchváry

Entering a weird, remote hamlet, Andrei calls himself “a simple wayfarer,” but he is in fact highly compromised: he has no identity papers. Taken under the wing of the military zone’s commander, Andrei is first assigned to guard the blueberries that supply a nearby bear reserve. He is surrounded by human wrecks, supernatural umbrellas, birds carrying plagues, albino twins.

The bears — and an affair with a married woman — occupy Andrei until his protector is replaced by a new female commander, “a slender creature, quiet, diaphanous, like a dragonfly,” and yet an iron-fisted harridan. As things grow ever more alarming, Andrei becomes a “corpse watchman,” standing guard over the dead to check for any signs of life, and then …

published August 26th, 2013
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