Volodine
2019 Longlist

Radiant Terminus

Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

The most patently sci-fi work of Antoine Volodine’s to be translated into English, Radiant Terminus takes place in a Tarkovskian landscape after the fall of the Second Soviet Union. Most of humanity has been destroyed thanks to a number of nuclear meltdowns, but a few communes remain, including one run by Solovyei, a psychotic father with the ability to invade people’s dreams – including those of his daughters – and torment them for thousands of years.

When a group of damaged individuals seeks safety from this nuclear winter in Solovyei’s commune, a plot develops to overthrow him, end his reign of mental abuse, and restore humanity.

Fantastic, unsettling, and occasionally funny, Radiant Terminus is a key entry in Volodines’ epic literary project that – with its broad landscape, ambitious vision, and interlocking characters and ideas – calls to mind the best of David Mitchell.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Antoine
Volodine

Antoine Volodine is the primary pseudonym of a French writer who has published twenty books under this name, several of which are available in English translation, including Bardo or Not Bardo (also available from Open Letter) and Minor Angels. He also publishes under the names Lutz Bassmann (We Monks and Soldiers) and Manuela Draeger (In the Time of the Blue Ball). Most of his works take place in a post-apocalyptic world where members of the ‘post-exoticism’ writing movement have all been arrested as subversive elements. Together, these works constitute one of the most inventive, ambitious projects of contemporary writing. In 2014, Radiant Terminus was awarded the Prix Médicis.

Antoine Volodine is the primary pseudonym of a French writer who has published twenty books under this name, several of which are available in English translation, including Bardo or Not Bardo (also available from Open Letter) and Minor Angels. He also publishes under the names Lutz Bassmann (We Monks and Soldiers) and Manuela Draeger (In the Time of the Blue Ball). Most of his works take place in a post-apocalyptic world where members of the ‘post-exoticism’ writing movement have all been arrested as subversive elements. Together, these works constitute one of the most inventive, ambitious projects of contemporary writing. In 2014, Radiant Terminus was awarded the Prix Médicis.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Jeffrey
Zuckerman

Jeffrey Zuckerman is a translator of French literature. His work centers on contemporary fiction from mainland France and Mauritius—including Ananda Devi, Shenaz Patel, and Carl de Souza—as well as texts of the queer canon—including Jean Genet and Hervé Guibert.

Jeffrey Zuckerman is a translator of French literature. His work centers on contemporary fiction from mainland France and Mauritius—including Ananda Devi, Shenaz Patel, and Carl de Souza—as well as texts of the queer canon—including Jean Genet and Hervé Guibert.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Since the middle of the 1980s, Antoine Volodine has been single-handedly leading his own literary movement, post-exotism. Using his own name or under aliases, he has published about 50 novels and essays defining this original genre settled in a totalitarian post-apocalyptic world and conceived as a revolutionary outcry infused with shamanism. Radiant Terminus, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman, encapsulates most of the distinctive features of post-exoticism and tells a tale of survival after a nuclear catastrophe through a bunch of ghost-like characters wandering in a  world where the boundaries between life and death are constantly blurred.  From the depths of this unsettling universe in which time and space are elastic, Volodine works his black magic and occasionally, lets an unexpected burst of laughter light up the way.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
21/08/2014
Country
France
Original Language
French
Publisher
Open Letter Books
Translator
Jeffrey Zuckerman
Translation
Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman

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