By Michal Ajvaz
Publication Date: 01/10/23
In a small village on the southern coast of Crete, the narrator meets a young man who tells him a history of his journey which took him from Prague as far as to the Libyan sea. It is a voyage to uncover mysterious deaths of two brothers: one was murdered during the ballet performance, the body of the second one was found by Turkish fishermen at the Asia Minor shores.
On the move, the amateur detective is accompanied by one of the brothers´ girlfriend. They have to work out a lot of traces, clues and rebuses – seemingly meaningless clusters of letters in the picture of a Hungarian painter, fragments of words created in the sea by bodies of phosphorescing worms, puzzling shapes of jelly sweets found in a small shop in Croatia or the plot of an American sci-fi thriller movie, which the protagonists watch in the cinema in Rome suburb.
Such leads send the heroes from town to town, the plot takes part on night trains and many places in Europe - in Bratislava, Budapest, Lublan, on the islands of Mykon and Crete… With the search for the murderer of both the brothers many other stories are interconnected, and they take the readers to even more distant places of the Earth: Moscow, Boston, Mexico City…
Michal Ajvaz was born in 1949 in Prague, his father was a Crimean Karaim and his mother was an Austrian Czech. He published eight works of fiction and also an essay on Jacques Derrida, a book about Edmund Husserl’s philosophy, as well as a book-length meditation on Jorge Luis Borges called The Dreams of Grammars, the Glow of Letters, and a philosophical study, Jungle of Light: Meditations on Seeing. He was awarded Jaroslav Seifert ́s Prize and Magnesia Litera Prize. His books of fiction have been published in fifteen languages.