Author(s): Jachym Topol
Fiction | No Category
"The devil had his workshop here in Belarus. The deepest graves are in Belarus. But nobody knows about them.' A young man grows up in a town with a sinister history. The concentration camp may have been liberated years ago, but its walls still cast their long shadows and some of the inhabitants are quite determined to not to allow anyone to forget.When the camp is marked for demolition, one of the survivors begins a campaign to preserve it, quickly attracting donations from wealthy benefactors, a cult-like following of young travellers, and a steady stream of tourists buying souvenir t-shirts.But before long, the authorities impose a brutal crack-down, leaving only an 'official' memorial and three young collaborators whose commitment to the act of remembering will drive them ever closer to the evils they hoped to escape.Bold, brilliant and blackly comic, The Devil's Workshop paints a deeply troubling portrait of a country dealing with its ghosts and asks: at what point do we consign the past to history?
Topol is seen by critics and readers as the definitive writer of the post-Communism era in Prague, as a voice of transition from Marx to market - Boyd Tonkin, "Independent"
Topol writes sincerely, passionately - Cees Nooteboom
JACHYM TOPOL is an award-winning writer who was famous in his youth as an underground poet, songwriter and journalist, and now for writing books that have most successfully and imaginatively captured the dislocation brought about by the fall of Communism. His novels include Gargling with Tar (Portobello, 2010), and Nightworks (forthcoming). The Devil's Workshop won the 2013 English PEN Award for Writing in Translation.