An Inventory of Losses
From the paradisal island of Tuanaki, the Caspian Tiger or the Villa Sacchetti in Rome, each of the pieces in Schalansky's Inventory considers something that is irretrievably lost to the world. She considers Sappho's love poems, Greta Garbo's fading beauty, a painting by Caspar David Friedrich.
As a child of the former East Germany, it's not surprising that loss and its aftermath should haunt Schalansky's writing, but what is extraordinary and exhilarating is the engaging mixture of intellectual curiosity, ironic humour, stylistic elegance, intensity of feeling and grasp of life's pitiless vitality, that combine to make this one of the most original literary works of recent times.
Translated from the German by Jackie Smith.
"A fine example of everyone's favourite genre: the genre-defying book, inspired by history, filtered through imagination and finished with a jeweller's eye for detail" Guardian
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