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Time Shelter

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781474623087

Price: £16.99

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‘The most exquisite kind of literature… I’ve put it on a special shelf in my library that I reserve for books that can never be fully exhausted – books that demand to be revisited every now and then. ‘
Olga Tokarczuk, author of The Books of Jacob and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

‘In equal measure playful and profound, Georgi Gospodinov’s Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary. I loved it’
Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs

‘Gospodinov is one of Europe’s most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists, and this his most expansive, soulful and mind-bending book’
Dave Eggers, author of The Circle

‘A powerful and brilliant novel: clear-sighted, foreboding, enigmatic. A novel in which the future gives way like a rotten beam and the past rushes in like a flood’
Sandro Veronesi, author of The Hummingbird

‘A trickster at heart, and often very funny… Gospodinov is one of the leading writers in Europe: every book is an event’
Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker

In Time Shelter, an enigmatic flâneur named Gaustine opens a ‘clinic for the past’ that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time.

As Gaustine’s assistant, the unnamed narrator is tasked with collecting the flotsam and jetsam of the past, from 1960s furniture and 1940s shirt buttons to scents and even afternoon light. But as the rooms become more convincing, an increasing number of healthy people seek out the clinic as a ‘time shelter’, hoping to escape from the horrors of our present – a development that results in an unexpected conundrum when the past begins to invade the present.

Intricately crafted, and eloquently translated by Angela Rodel, Time Shelter cements Georgi Gospodinov’s reputation as one of the indispensable writers of our times, a major voice in international literature.

Georgi Gospodinov is one of Europe’s most acclaimed writers. Originally from Bulgaria, his novels have won his country’s most prestigious literary prize twice and have been shortlisted for more than a dozen international prizes – including the 2015 PEN Literary Award for Translation, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, the Premio Strega Europeo, the Bruecke Berlin Preis, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Literaturpreis. He has won the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the 2019 Angelus Literature Central Europe Prize and the 2021 Premio Strega Europeo, among others.

Reviews

Georgi Gospodinov is unique in many ways. I've been reading him since the beginning and I know that no one can combine an intriguing concept, wonderful imagination and perfect writing technique like he can. This is great prose.
Olga Tokarczuk, author of THE BOOKS OF JACOB and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
A powerful and brilliant novel: clear-sighted, foreboding, enigmatic. A novel in which the future gives way like a rotten beam and the past rushes in like a flood.
Sandro Veronesi, author of THE HUMMINGBIRD and twice winner of the Premio Strega
The most exquisite kind of literature, on our perception of time and its passing, written in a masterful and totally unpredictable style. Each page comes as a surprise, so that you never know where the author is going to take you next. I've put it on a special shelf in my library that I reserve for books that can never be fully exhausted-books that demand to be revisited every now and then.
Olga Tokarczuk, author of THE BOOKS OF JACOB and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Gospodinov is one of Europe's most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists, and this his most expansive, soulful and mind-bending book.
Dave Eggers
In this book, time sneaks away, and then returns, reconstituted. Franz Ferdinand is re-assassinated. The cigarettes you liked as a teenager are on sale again. Communism is back, and nice. The book is a satire, witty and scorching, but it is also wise and tender.
Joan Acocella
An extraordinary romp through time and memory, a beautifully written and wonderfully inventive meditation on what the past means to us, whether we can recapture it and how it defines our present. This is the perfect novel for these cloistered atemporal times.
Alberto Manguel, author of A HISTORY OF READING
In equal measure playful and profound, Georgi Gospodinov's Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary. I loved it.
Claire Messud
Gospodinov writes like a botanist of the soul: he knows the effects that the pretty mushrooms and the hidden herbs within ourselves can do, in spite of what they look like from afar. The living beings he studies are our versions of our past, the unretrievable, the recreated, the future versions of our past, and how we imbue them with the fantasies and poisons that we cultivate in silence.
Yuri Herrera, author of SIGNS PRECEDING THE END OF THE WORLD
A genrebusting novel of ideas. This is a book about memory, how it fades and how it is restored, even reinvented, in the imaginations of addled individuals and the civic discourse of nations . . . His vision of tomorrow is the nightmare from which Europe knows it must awake. And accident, in combination with the book's own merits, may just have created a classic
Simon Ings, THE TIMES
The morality of artificially returning people to the past, and the broader question of whether this truly brings solace - whether indulgence in nostalgia is curative or pernicious - is the central question of Georgi Gospodinov's newly translated novel... Touching and intelligent
Adrian Nathan West,, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (USA)
Mr. Gospodinov, one of Bulgaria's most popular contemporary writers, is a nostalgia artist. In the manner of Orhan Pamuk and Andrei Makine, his books are preoccupied with memory, its ambiguous pleasures and its wistful, melancholy attraction . . . This difficult but rewarding novel concludes with an image of Europe brought to the brink of renewed conflict - an abstraction that recent events have imbued with the terrible force of reality
Sam Sacks, WALL STREET JOURNAL (USA)
Gospodinov's digressive, philosophical novel is less a work of realist literature than an allegory about the perils of looking backward . . . translator Rodel keeps the narrator's wry voice consistent . . . the story achieves a pleasurably Borges-ian strangeness while sending a warning signal about how memory can be glitch-y and dangerous . . . An ambitious, quirky, time-folding yarn
KIRKUS REVIEWS (USA)
Memory and kitsch - and their painful congruence in post-Soviet Europe - will be familiar themes to readers of Gospodinov's last book, The Physics of Sorrow. The novels share allusive, discontinuous narratives, an appetite for switching genres, an alertness to the power and the fragility of authorship and a dark humour rimed with grief. But in Time Shelter, finished shortly before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Gospodinov's sights are higher and his scope - conceptually and geographically - far wider . . . And the paradoxes that hummed quietly in the background of previous books roar into apocalyptic high gear
Madoc Cairns, LITERARY REVIEW
A radical new therapy tests the power of nostalgia in the electric and fantastical latest from Gospodinov (The Physics of Sorrow). The clever prose sells the zany premise and imbues it with poignant longing . . . Thought-provoking and laced with potent satire, this deserves a spot next to Kafka
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (USA)