In this breathtaking final work, Daša Drndić’s fearless voice reaches new heights. Andreas Ban’s suicide attempt has failed. Though very ill, he still finds the will to tap on the glass of history to summon those imprisoned within. Mercilessly, he dissects society and his environment, shunning all favors as he goes after the evils and hidden secrets of our times. History remembers the names of the perpetrators, not the victims—Ban remembers and honors the lost. He travels from Rijeka to Zagreb, from Belgrade to Tirana, from Parisian avenues to Italian castles. Ghosts follow him wherever he goes: chess grandmasters who disappeared during WWII; the lost inhabitants of Latvia; war criminals who found work in the CIA and died peacefully in their beds. Ban’s family is with him too, those already dead and those with one foot in the grave. As if left with only a few pieces in a chess game, Andreas Ban—and Daša Drndić—play a stunning last match against Death.
Perhaps the most ambitious novel of the twenty-first century so far.
—Merve Emre, New York Review of Books
One of the most electrifying prose writers of our time.
—The Hudson Review
Drndić’s formidable intelligence and Homeric intention cannot help but thrill and exalt.
—Dustin Illingworth, The Paris Review Daily
Daša Drndić, who died last year, was interested in many things—chess, suicide, the intelligence of rats—but chief among them was Nazism and the horrors of WWII. Like Bolaño’s 2666, EEG demands we stare directly into the face of darkness.
—Anderson Tepper, Vanity Fair
The 20th century is revealed as a parade of horrors in this harrowing novel from Drndić (1946–2018), one of Croatia’s most acclaimed contemporary authors…. Riveting.
This is a novel of ideas but also of exquisite poetry, as when Drndic writes of a figure out of Ban’s past: ‘He died alone, and he was afraid of solitude.’ An elegant search for lost time and a fitting valediction by a superb writer.
—Kirkus (starred review)
Drndić interweaves fiction, reality, history, and memory to terrific effect, producing unforgettable meditations on love and loss, the insanity of war and the legacy of human cruelty.
—Lucy Popescu, The White Review
After surviving a suicide attempt, Andreas Ban goes on to dissect and expose the hidden evils and secrets of our times.
Drndić cultivates a visionary art of memory. She rescues the names, and the lives, of the lost. Her writing glows with an incendiary bleakness worthy of Beckett.
—Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk
Wry and kindly, funny, angry, informed and intent on the truth, no voice is quite as blisteringly beautiful as that of Drndic. Ban is the witness, the seeker of truth. Drndic, a tenacious collector of personal histories and the names of victims lost in the Holocaust, wrote about many things; for all the darkness, her concerns are life and justice.
Daša Drndić was incapable of writing a sentence that was not forceful, fierce or funny–or all three simultaneously.
Drndić has in her own way composed an astonishment that extracts light from darkness.
—The Jewish Daily Forward
Reading Daša Drndić is not for the fainthearted. Anger radiates from Drndić’s pages, and perhaps the book’s greatest strength is the way in which it gives a voice to those people who are unable to tell their own stories.
—Shaun Walker, The Guardian
The formidable Daša Drndić has created something like a modern-day Homeric narrative of wars that are anything but glorious. In Celia Hawkesworth, she has a translator of genius who shares her vision. It is difficult to suggest a contemporary English-language novel with which to compare it, or one that might even approach its eloquence and daring.
—Eileen Battersby, Los Angeles Review of Books
We have lost one of the most electrifying prose writers of our time. It will be difficult to forget a sensibility so expansive, so capable of forging ahead while keeping the past constantly at hand.