Translated from the Slovene by Rawley Grau
An epic, homourous and quite unique historical novel which looks at Central Europe in the 16th century – a territory plagued by ceaseless battles for supremacy between the Protestant political elite and the ruling Catholic Hapsburg Monarchy, as well as the ongoing battle between the sexes. In Kumerdej’s wonderful saga, history and fiction intertwine in wavelike fashion, producing a colourful portrait of the Renaissance; permeated by humanist attempts to resurrect antiquity through art, new scientific findings, and spirited philosophical and theological debates.
About the author
Mojca Kumerdej is a Slovene writer, philosopher and critic. She also works as the cultural correspondent for the daily newspaper Delo. Kumerdej graduated in philosophy and the sociology of culture from the University of Ljubljana. Her debut novel Krst nad Triglavom (The Baptism Over Mount Triglav) was a witty and ironical revision of one of Slovene literary history’s most important works, the epic poem Krst pri Savici (The Baptism at the Savica) by France Prešeren. Her next two published books, Fragma and Temna Snov, are collections of short stories. Her stories have been translated into many languages and have been published in various Slovene and foreign literary journals and anthologies. In 2017, Kumerdej received the Prešeren Award for her second novel Kronosova žetev (The Harvest of Chronos).
The novel is a colourful portrait of Central Europe in the 16th century. It is convincing and authentic in the way it captures the spirit of that time, but what maked this book great is the language which changes with the narrator. You get the feeling that history is repeating itself only the ways of manipulation are different.