The universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision rivals that of Gogol’s Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.
—W. G. Sebald

A quiet, poetic, and exquisitely gorgeous novel describing a wandering mythic figure in a Kyoto monastery, by the National Book Award winner

Available November 1, 2022

A Mountain to the North, a Lake to the South, Paths to the West, a River to the East

Fiction by László Krasznahorkai

Translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet

The grandson of Prince Genji lives outside of space and time and wanders the grounds of an old monastery in Kyoto. The monastery, too, is timeless: a place of prayer and deliverance, with barely a trace of any human presence. The wanderer is searching for a garden that has long captivated him: “he continually saw the garden in his mind’s eye without being able to touch its existence.” This exquisitely beautiful novel by National Book Award–winner László Krasznahorkai—perhaps his most serene and poetic work—describes a search for the unobtainable and the riches to be discovered along the way. Despite the difficulties in finding the garden, the reader is closely introduced to the construction processes of the monastery (described in poetic detail) as well as the geological and biological processes of the surrounding area (the underground layers revealed beneath a bed of moss, the travels of cypresstree seeds on the wind, feral foxes and stray dogs meandering outside the monastery’s walls), making this an unforgettable meditation on nature, life, history, and being.

Buy from:

Paperback (published November 1, 2022)

ISBN
9780811234474
Price US
15.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
144

Ebook (published November 1, 2022)

ISBN
9780811234481
The universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision rivals that of Gogol’s Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.
—W. G. Sebald
In the fiction of László Krasznahorkai, man struggles to achieve infinity only to find madness as his consolation prize. In A Mountain to the North, a Lake to the South, Paths to the West, a River to the East, the pretty grandson of a prince seeks a mythical garden that haunts his every waking moment. His search leads him through a labyrinthine and seemingly abandoned monastery, whose astonishing beauty and inevitable decay the author painstakingly details. His work details a deeply deterministic worldview, in which suffering and sublimity are equally arbitrary conditions of existence. His prodigious sentences (translated from the Hungarian by faithful collaborator Ottilie Mulzet) are burdened with an accumulation of constitutive detail; they fold in, double back, and refract upon themselves, ever more quickly accelerating our attentions toward the anxieties of oblivion, which rapidly approaches but never seems to arrive.
—Alex Watkins, Vulture
One of the most mysterious artists now at work.
—Colm Tóibín
A vision of painstaking beauty.
NPR
The Hungarian master of the apocalypse.
—Susan Sontag