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In her long career, Ugresic has published several novels (e.g., The Ministry of Pain), but she made her name with her essay collections, which have caused controversy and earned her the admiration of writers and critics abroad. In these latest musings, written over the course of several years, Ugresic leaves no stone unturned and no thought contained, doing what she does best: writing about the human condition through her own experience. Refusing to establish a central theme, she touches upon a wide range of topics: the paradox of multiculturalism, metaphors as our "defense against nightmares," the eerie similarities between capitalism and communism, and ways in which we try to rise hopelessly above our less-than-perfect existence. Along the way, she pays homage to the works of literature that have influenced her own creative process, in an effort to pay "a symbolic literary tax on narcissim" because "writing is not the humblest of vocations." Perhaps not, but Ugresic certainly knows how to balance being a critic with being criticized. Recommended for all libraries collecting cultural criticism.