Appalling and tragic, Ognjen Spahic's exceptional short novel animates the misery of Ceasescu's Romania and its inglorious fall with a metaphor fully up to the task: leprosy. Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen was a Norwegian scientist who isolated the Mycobacterium leprae in 1873 and his 'children' are the tragic sufferers of this ghastly disease. In Spahic's novel, it's 1989 and a dozen of them are confined to the last leper house in Europe, an under-equipped facility located in a miserable corner ..
A young man is found lying unconscious on the outskirts of Bucharest. No one knows who he is and everyone has a different theory about how he got there. The stories of the various characters unfold, each closely interwoven with the next, and outlining the features of what ultimately turns out to be the most important and most powerful character of all: the city of Bucharest itself.
The novel covers the last 13 days of 1897 and culminates in a beautiful tableau of the future as imagined by the..