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Hailed for his signature wit and storytelling skills, the Bulgarian novelist Georgi Gospodinov was catapulted to international stardom by his novel Physics of Sorrow (Open Letter, 2015), which garnered him the 2016 Jan Michalski Prize and the 2019 Angelus Central European Literature Award. His new novel, Time Shelter (Norton, 2022), was published in English earlier this year to even greater critical acclaim.
Called in one breath “funny” and “frightening” (Guardian), “playful and profound” (Claire Messud), “difficult but rewarding” (Wall Street Journal), this “genre-busting novel of ideas” (The Times) pivots on a conceit. An enigmatic flâneur called Gaustine opens a “clinic for the past” as a treatment center for Alzheimer’s patients. The premise of the clinic is simple enough: by meticulously recreating locales from patients’ private pasts, doctors trigger lost memories and help restore a lost sense of self. But controlling others’ memories proves to be a dangerously addictive game. Not unlike the story that Gospodinov spins around it, pulling readers into a world of wicked fun and political nightmare—all the way to the brink of a new World War.