The first English translation of amajor European literary figure and Nobel Prize nominee’s most significant work of prose to date, this tense, cerebral, fascinating novel is the perfect introduction to KaplinskiA semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman, set in the early 1960s, this novelnarrates the efforts of Kaplinski’s youthful alter ego to lose his innocence and attain sexual and mystical knowledge. The 20-year-old protagonist finds an unofficial teacher in a retired theologian and poet, who is out of favor with the communist authorities. After a summer spent in intellectual and erotic soul-searching, the sexual and political intrigues finally overlap, leading to a quasi-solution. As KGB and university apparatchiks take a close interest in the relation of the two poets, the student outgrows his mentor, who despite accusing the human race of puerility, turns out to be a big and jealous child himself. This novel is seen by many as one of the crowning achievements of a long (and still-flourishing) career in Estonia, but this is the first time this unique work will be widely available in English.”show more
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