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Time Shelter - Georgi Gospodinov (tr. Angela Rodel)

Time Shelter - Georgi Gospodinov (tr. Angela Rodel)

Weidenfeld & Nicholson

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Our take

"Time Shelter" by Georgi Gospodinov centres on a psychiatrist who sets up a clinic in Switzerland for people with Alzheimer's disease. The clinic has spaces that meticulously recreate past eras to help patients get a grasp on the past. But the concept is quickly taken up beyond the clinic's walls. Inspired by the rise of populism and its narratives often evoking 'past greatness', the novel explores how we reinvent the past and how our memories - true or imagined - shape our identity. This brilliant novel became the first one written by a Bulgarian author to win the International Booker Prize.

Publisher's description

In Time Shelter, an enigmatic flâneur named Gaustine opens a ‘clinic for the past’ that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time.

As Gaustine’s assistant, the unnamed narrator is tasked with collecting the flotsam and jetsam of the past, from 1960s furniture and 1940s shirt buttons to scents and even afternoon light. But as the rooms become more convincing, an increasing number of healthy people seek out the clinic as a ‘time shelter’, hoping to escape from the horrors of our present – a development that results in an unexpected conundrum when the past begins to invade the present.

Intricately crafted, and eloquently translated by Angela Rodel, Time Shelter cements Georgi Gospodinov’s reputation as one of the indispensable writers of our times, a major voice in international literature.

Praise and awards

International Booker Prize Winner 2023

A GUARDIAN AND FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

‘The most exquisite kind of literature… I’ve put it on a special shelf in my library that I reserve for books that demand to be revisited every now and then. ‘
OLGA TOKARCZUK, author of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

‘Could not be more timely… It’s funny and absurd, but it’s also frightening, because even as Gospodinov plays with the idea as fiction, the reader begins to recognise something rather closer to home… A writer of great warmth as well as skill‘
GUARDIAN

‘In equal measure playful and profound, Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary. I loved it’
CLAIRE MESSUD, author of The Woman Upstairs

‘A genrebusting novel of ideas… Gospodinov’s vision of tomorrow is the nightmare from which Europe knows it must awake. And accident, in combination with the book’s own merits, may just have created a classic’
THE TIMES

‘Gospodinov is one of Europe’s most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists, and this his most expansive, soulful and mind-bending book’
DAVE EGGERS, author of The Circle

‘Touching and intelligent’
NEW YORK TIMES

‘A powerful and brilliant novel: clear-sighted, foreboding, enigmatic’
SANDRO VERONESI, author of The Hummingbird

‘An immensely enjoyable book which achieves depth with an affable narrative voice’
IRISH TIMES

Shipping & Returns

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