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Apr 08, 2014
| ISBN 9780307739759
Jul 02, 2013
| ISBN 9780307962232
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Apr 08, 2014 | ISBN 9780307739759
Jul 02, 2013 | ISBN 9780307962232
Winner of the European Book AwardNovember, 1957. The Soviets have just launched the Sputnik, and communism rules in Eastern Europe, but the village of Baia Luna, nestled in the Carpathian mountains, is a world unto itself, populated with gypsy-philosophers and mysterious priests. But for fifteen-year-old Pavel Botev, this world begins to come apart the day teacher asks him to hang a photo of the new party secretary, then whispers a startling directive into his ear. “Send this man straight to hell. Exterminate him.” The next morning, she has disappeared. Once a priest turns up murdered, Pavel sets out on a journey for answers—one that leads him into the frontiers of a new life. By turns grippingly realist and enchantingly surreal, The Madonna on the Moon announces the arrival of an important new voice in fiction.
An award-winning journalist transforms his lifelong fascination with the world of the Gypsies into fiction with this exuberant, deeply enchanting debut novel—both whimsical and suspenseful—winner of the European Book Prize, and translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide. November 1957: As Communism spreads across Eastern Europe, strange events are beginning to upend daily life in Baia Luna, a tiny village nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. As the Soviets race to reach the moon and Sputnik soars overhead, fifteen-year-old Pavel Botev attends the small village school with the other children. Their sole teacher, the mysterious and once beautiful Angela Barbulescu, was sent by the Ministry of Education, and while it is suspected that she has lived a highly cultured life, much of her past remains hidden. But one day, after asking Pavel to help hang a photo of the new party secretary, she whispers a startling directive in his ear: “Send this man straight to hell! Exterminate him!” By the next morning, she has disappeared. With little more to go on than the gossip and rumors swirling through his grandfather Ilja’s tavern, Pavel finds curiosity overcoming his fear when suddenly the village’s sacred Madonna statue is stolen and the priest Johannes Baptiste is found brutally murdered in the rectory. Aided by the Gypsy girl Buba and her eccentric uncle, Dimitru Gabor, Pavel’s search for answers leads him far from the innocent concerns of childhood and into the frontiers of a new world, changing his life forever.
Rolf Bauerdick was born in 1957. He studied literature and theology before turning to journalism and photography. His work has been awarded numerous prizes, among them Germany’s prestigious Hansel Mieth Prize. His articles have been published in Der Spiegel, Geo,… More about Rolf Bauerdick
“Thrilling. . . . A hopeful and frequently hilarious story of using one’s courage, patience, and wits to stand up against oppression. Weaving folklore, political drama, a coming-of-age story, and a morality tale together, Bauerdick has created an original.” —The Daily Beast“Bauerdick’s use of language, ably aided by an excellent translation, will bring to life the absurdities of love, life, history, religion and politics in a colorful lingual brew.” —Washington Independent Review of Books“Rolf Bauerdick is a natural-born storyteller. The fierce realism of his story spoils neither its magic nor its humor.” —Spiegel Online “A dazzling book, larger than life, exuberantly picturesque. . . . German literature has a powerful new voice—and most of all an unusual one.” —Focus “Bizarre and anarchistic, The Madonna on the Moon is enormously entertaining.” —Die Welt “Sparkle[s] with fun and wit. . . . Uniquely populated by a cast of bizarre and enjoyable characters.” —Publishers Weekly “Smart readers will grab this European Book Prize winner.” —Library Journal
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