Translated from the Serbian by Randall A. Major
In a carriage of the Paris metro, nine people cross paths one ordinary Friday morning: a retired office worker who comes there purely to read; a tourist revisiting the memories of sixty years ago; a funeral mourner who has discovered the beauty of cemeteries; an author in search of her characters; a young man with a reality problem; an elderly woman with memory issues; a military administrator with a secret hobby; a jilted woman who has the key to the perfect match; and a secret agent high on adrenaline.
Each in turn encounters that ubiquitous and unavoidable gadget: the cell phone camera. Each comes to a realization that changes their life forever. But who is the tenth person in the carriage, and what do her photographs tell her about the other nine that they could not possibly know themselves?
About the author
Zoran Živković was born in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 5, 1948. Until his recent retirement, he was a full professor at the Faculty of Philology, the University of Belgrade, teaching creative writing. Živković is one of the most translated contemporary Serbian writers. By the end of 2017 there were 93 foreign editions of his books of fiction, published in 23 countries, in 20 languages.
He has won several literary awards for his fiction. In 1994 his novel The Fourth Circle won the Miloš Crnjanski award. In 2003, Živković’s mosaic novel The Library won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. In 2007 his novel The Bridge won the Isidora Sekulić award. In 2007 Živković received the Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša award for his life achievement in literature.
In 2014 and 2015 Živković received three awards for his contribution to the literature of fantastika: Art-Anima, Stanislav Lem and The Golden Dragon.The prestigious US literary magazine World Literature Today brought out a special section on Živković’s writing in the November/December 2011 issue. In 2005, Belgrade TV station Studio B produced ‘The Collector’ TV series, based upon his mosaic novel Twelve Collections. In 2007, notable Serbian film author Puriša Đorđević directed the film ”Two”, based on Živković’s fictional themes, as well as the short film “The Confessional”, based on one of the Impossible Encounters short stories.Two of his stories were produced as radio broadcasts by the BBC: The Train (2005) and Alarm Clock on the Night Table (2007).