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The Lost Soul by Olga Tokarczuk

The Lost Soul

Best Seller
The Lost Soul by Olga Tokarczuk
Hardcover $22.95
Feb 23, 2021 | ISBN 9781644210345

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  • Feb 23, 2021 | ISBN 9781644210345

    Also available from:

  • Jul 20, 2021 | ISBN 9781644210352

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Olga Tokarczuk’s The Lost Soul, an experimental fable illustrated by Joanna Concejo and translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, resonates with our current moment. . . . [M]ore charming than you might expect from an Important Fable by a writer who went on to win the 2018 Nobel Prize. . . . Along the way we are treated to Concejo’s lush, detailed representations, and to quietly dramatic juxtapositions of full-page images. . . . The Lost Soul, rendered with skillful precision in pencil, asks readers to make connections that aren’t always immediately clear—between two pictures or between word and image. . . . Fittingly for a book about the harmonious reunion of two parts, the double spread is the basic unit of visual storytelling for The Lost Soul, and it’s particularly effective in the showstopping scene in which the man and the soul gaze at each other with serene acknowledgment at long last. . . . [W]hat a striking, and lovely, material object it is.” 
—New York Times

The Lost Soul, by Olga Tokarczuk and illustrator Joanna Concejo, is a quiet meditation on happiness, following a busy man who loses his soul. . . [I]t pours a childlike sense of wonder into a once-upon-a-time tale that is already resonating with adults around the world.”

“Devotees like to say that a person is never too old to enjoy picture books. A person may be too young, however. Only an older reader is likely to appreciate the subtleties of The Lost Soul, a picture book by Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. . . . Wordless monochrome illustrations show the quiet unfolding of emptiness and waiting: untraveled paths, unoccupied park benches, a lone child in a cafe. Slowly the wintry color scheme begins to admit more and more splashes of green as the man’s soul—the child from the cafe—makes its way back to him.” 
Wall Street Journal

The Lost Soul. . . is a poetic story of a man who loses his soul in the daily rush and can only regain it in a very special way. The book has many meanings, also inspired by its nostalgic, meditative drawings by Polish artist Joanna Concejo.”
Associated Press

“[A] gorgeous book about taking time to appreciate what you have and what is around you. Remember this one when it’s time to give a graduation gift!”
Book Riot

“This recipe for the quiet life of home is an anodyne for the feelings of stress, insecurity, angst and loss that today afflict most of us. Even imagining the fairy tale ‘small cottage at the edge of the city’ will soothe readers and their listeners. The tender illustrations offer fine details that sink deep into the memory.”
—Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain

“Olga Tokarczuk’s simple words and Joanna Concejo’s tender images tell a story we need to hear and see now in our brutal present—the parable of a soul lost and found.”
—Siri Hustvedt, author of Memories of the Future

The Lost Soul is a treasure. Tokarczuk and Concejo offer their readers another way to see the velocity of days, the grace in waiting, and time itself. Turning Concejo’s pages of wonderful drawings gave me a much-needed pause, and a reassuring perspective on loss, patience, and reward.”
—Leanne Shapton, author of Guestbook 

“Nobel Prize–winning Polish novelist Tokarczuk (Flights) teams up with artist Concejo for an elegant, meditative parable about isolation and redemption. The minimal text opens with “Once upon a time” and describes John, a workaholic businessman in existential crisis who feels “as if the world around him were flat, as if he were moving across a smooth page in a math exercise book, entirely covered in evenly spaced squares.” As he loses all sense of identity, a wise doctor diagnoses his spiritual malaise: “The world is full of people running about in a hurry… and their lost souls always left behind.” John decides to cease his frantic lifestyle in the hope that he and his soul can reunite. Tokarczuk’s poetic sensibility matches perfectly with Concejo’s hushed, evocative drawings, which comment abstractedly on the story, depicting humans in Hopper-esque isolation from each other and the natural world, until they eventually interact and integrate. As they do, the monochromatic pencils gradually incorporate rich hues of green and orange, representing life again in balance. This sincere collaboration invites readers to reflect upon existential themes on their own terms. It’s a soothing balm for tense, jagged times.”
Publishers Weekly

“A collaboration between two masters, one a writer and the other an artist. It’s the story of a man who feels his life has lost meaning, and we follow his voyage through a mysterious and haunting inner world.”
—Lydia McOscar, Brookline Booksmith

“There is something deeply moving in this slim volume of silent images and prose. Like so much of [Tokarczuk’s] other work, [The Lost Soul] addresses our most contemporary problems and conditions before we can know them ourselves – like our frantic thoughtless romping of time and earth, which the pandemic suddenly made us see. . . . In Concejo’s drawings and Tokarczuk’s mysteriously sparse prose. . . we move closer to this space of silence, of growth, where we can begin to find what we have long ago forgotten and lost.”
Marek Makowski, English Instructor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“[A] beautiful collaboration with Joanna Concejo, a visual artist and fellow Pole, and Tokarczuk’s longtime translator Antonia Lloyd-Jones. The Lost Soul is a simple story about what happens when we are forced to wait for the little feet of our inner child to catch up with the hurried pace of life. . . In a time of uncertainty, stagnation, and grief, Tokarczuk and Concejo offer consolation—that we too might stop and recognize what is enough, endure our own “peaceful winters,” and possibly let go of the craving for more than that.”
World Literature Today

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