It is the end of the 1980s, and Europe is about to change forever; in a corner of Romania, two men await their fate as their reality literally begins to fall apart. This unique and sometimes shocking book provides a view of a world we have surely never encountered before. Unafraid to speak the truth, Spahić takes us on a journey through the revolution, changing our way of seeing this chapter of history while simultaneously challenging our own sense of identity. As much about the fall of Communism as it is about the continuing disparity between West and East, Hansen's Children simply cannot fail to move you.
''Appalling and tragic, Ognjen Spahic’s exceptional short novel animates the misery of Ceasescu’s Romania and its inglorious fall with a metaphor fully up to the task: leprosy.'' Elsbeth Lindner, BookOxygen
''Perversely the leprosarium becomes a microcosm of the very divisions that divide human beings in the broader world. For example, when the inmates become aware of a new scourge on the rise outside their gates, HIV/AIDS, two men who have fallen in love will suffer the consequences because “this new disease was misunderstood and homosexual acts per se were seen as spawning the new evil. Mstislaw and Cion were shunned… like lepers. It was kind of understandable.” Mirroring the deteriorating conditions unfolding across Romania, and presaging the fate that awaits Spahic’s own Balkan homeland; power struggles, violence and death escalate within the bounds of the small community.'' roughghosts (Literary Blog)
''This is classic Balkan writing ,where everything is there in one book: wit , sadness, surrealism, friendship and horror''
Stu Allen, Winstonsdad blog
''Ognjen Spahic should be praised for using such an interesting factual motif to discuss weighty topics such as isolation, prejudice, and national identity. Modern East European literature is dominated by such themes, yet few have approached his with originality and inventiveness exhibited in Hansen’s Children. Translated by Will Firth, the novel received the Ovid Festival Prize in 2011. Winning alongside Milan Kundera, Spahic is in good company.'' Richard W. Jackson, BookHugger
'This is a book about beings making animals of other’s bodies, all the time, and how they keep themselves on the side of civilisation. Elegantly and mercilessly, it progresses towards its conclusion.'
Hansen's Children by Ognjen Spahić: Istros Books, 2011/ second edition: 2012
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