In 1941, artist Antun Fiskovic experiences a sea-change in his fortunes following the dramatic revelation of the identity of his real parents, just as occupying forces take over the government of his country. Fifty years later, a young woman called Dagmar Petric tries to solve the mystery surrounding her journalist father’s premature death. Antun and Dagmar’s stories come together in 1998, three years after civil war has torn apart the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
Set in Zagreb and late Nineties Hvar - a former tourist paradise now home to wartime refugees - this novel interweaves public and private history to explore violence, family secrets and personal as well as national reconciliation.
Praise for Penny Simpson:
“A sumptuously-detailed and fantastical novel... full of... humour, verve and hallucinatory strangeness.”
Clare Morgan, TLS (on The Banquet of Esther Rosenbaum)
“Alive... startling and original... quirky, unsentimental... funny... The writing flies off the page.”
Tessa Hadley and Meic Stephens, Judges Report, 2007 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition
Penny Simpson is the 2007 winner of the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition. Her short fiction features in the widely acclaimed Dalkey Archive Press collection, Best European Fiction 2010, prefaced by Zadie Smith. DOGDays, her debut collection of short stories, was published in 2003. She is a Fellow of the Hawthenden International Writers Centre. This is her second novel, following The Banquet of Esther Rosenbaum (Alcemi, 2008).