The Physics of Sorrow
2017 Longlist

The Physics of Sorrow

Translated from the original Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Using the myth of the Minotaur as its organizing image, the narrator of Gospodinov’s long-awaited novel constructs a labyrinth of stories about his family, jumping from era to era and viewpoint to viewpoint, exploring the mindset and trappings of Eastern Europeans. Incredibly moving-such as with the story of his grandfather accidentally being left behind at a mill-and extraordinarily funny-see the section on the awfulness of the question “how are you?”.  Physics is a book that you can inhabit, tracing connections, following the narrator down various “side passages,” getting pleasantly lost in the various stories and empathizing with the sorrowful, misunderstood Minotaur at the center of it all.

Like the work of Dave Eggers, Tom McCarthy, and Dubravka Ugresic, The Physics of Sorrow draws you in with its unique structure, humanitarian concerns, and stunning storytelling.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Georgi
Gospodinov

Georgi Gospodinov was born in Yambol, Bulgaria, in 1968. His works have now been translated to acclaim in 25 languages, have been shortlisted for more than a dozen international prizes – including the PEN Literary Award for Translation, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, the Bruecke Berlin Preis, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Literaturpreis – and have won the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the 2019 Angelus Literature Central Europe Prize and the 2021 Premio Strega Europe, among others.

The Physics of Sorrow is his second novel, and already a finalist for both the Strega Europeo and Gregor von Rezzori awards.

Georgi Gospodinov was born in Yambol, Bulgaria, in 1968. His works have now been translated to acclaim in 25 languages, have been shortlisted for more than a dozen international prizes – including the PEN Literary Award for Translation, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, the Bruecke Berlin Preis, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Literaturpreis – and have won the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the 2019 Angelus Literature Central Europe Prize and the 2021 Premio Strega Europe, among others.

The Physics of Sorrow is his second novel, and already a finalist for both the Strega Europeo and Gregor von Rezzori awards.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Our choice is motivated by the high literary merit of the novel and its wide reception both in Bulgaria and abroad. So far it has been translated in to Italian, German, English, French, Dutch, Serbian, Macedonian, Slovenian and is forthcoming in Arabic and Danish. The novel took several national literary awards and was shortlisted for six major international prizes: Best Translated Book Award (USA), PEN American Translation Prize, Pemio Strega Europeo (Roma), Premio Gregor von Rezzori (Florence), Internationaler Literaturpreis (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin) and Brucke Berlin Preis.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
06/08/2015
Country
Bulgaria
Original Language
Bulgarian
Publisher
Open Letter Books
Translator
Angela Rodel
Translation
Translated from the original Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

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