Three Loves, One Death
A family move from the city to the Slovenian countryside. The plan is to restore and make habitable a large, dilapidated farmhouse. Then the relatives arrive. There’s Cousin Vladimir, a former Partisan writing his memoirs, Uncle Vinko, an accountant who would like to raise the largest head of cabbage and appear in the Guinness World Records, Aunt Mara and her illegitimate daughter Elizabeta who’s hell bent on making her first sexual encounter the ‘event of the century’. And, finally, Uncle Švejk, the accidental hero of the war for independence, turns up out of the blue one Sunday afternoon . . .
Evald Flisar handles the absurd events that follow like no other writer, making the smallest incidents rich in meaning. The house, the family, their competing instincts and desires provide an unlikely vehicle for Flisar’s commentary on the nature of social cohesion and freedom.
Three Loves, One Death is a title in the World Series by Peter Owen Publishers in association with Istros Books, bringing some of the best contemporary writing from Slovenia to English-speaking readers. The other titles in the Slovenian Autumn season are Panorama by Dušan Šarotar and None Like Her by Jela Krečič.
With the next sentence, Flisar, whose lightness of touch is the hallmark of his writing style, makes clear that this fast-moving narrative is far more than a black comedy featuring a household of harmless eccentrics...The narrative is dense with symbolism. For all the humour and sense of everyday domesticity rife with intergenerational tensions, Three Loves, One Death exposes freedom as a terrifying burden.
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
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