About the Author
William T. Vollmann is the author of seven novels, three collections of stories, and a seven-volume critique of violence, Rising Up and Rising Down. He is also the author of Poor People, a worldwide examination of poverty through the eyes of the impoverished themselves; Riding Toward Everywhere, an examination of the train-hopping hobo lifestyle; and Imperial, a panoramic look at one of the poorest areas in America. He has won the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction, a Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize and a Whiting Writers' Award. His journalism and fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Esquire, Spin and Granta. Vollmann lives in Sacramento, California.
What People are Saying About This
From the Author:
" . . . to immerse myself in the period, so mysterious and shrouded in secrecy (or distorted by the haze of propaganda), but also to shed any bias I might have had (except the bias of artistic sensitivity), to avoid 'psychologizing' my characters, and to stick as closely as possible to facts. . . .That's what was going through my mind as I worked on A Tomb for Boris Davidovitch."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You can read this book as a description of the East Europe history (the reviews usually focus on this point), but you can also read it as a collection of stories with characters crossing their paths between them in an almost magical style. Good stories, great descriptions of the characters, their personal story and their failure or success in life. Very well written, It is a must read, specially if you like (or are curious about) the east europe style.
Danilo Kis is someone whom I have wanted to read ever since I heard Susan Sontag share her admiration for him in an interview several years ago. This novel, really a collection of short stories whose characters are thematically interwoven over space and time, details a series of lives as they encounter revolutionary movements, and how those revolutions have irrevocably changed the lives of the people involved. Being a Yugoslav, Kis' primary interest might have been the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, but the story set in the fourteenth-century shows the universality of Kis' concern. Regardless of setting, each of the stories is set against a mental landscape of prisons and human abattoirs where suffering and horror are par for the course. Kis uses a lyrical, detached style which softens and distances itself from the horror we know is occurring, creating a kind of "litterature verite," full of horrible whimsy, making the stories irresistible to read.He is deserving of a bigger audience in both Europe and the United States.