A finalist for both the Strega Europeo and Gregor von Rezzori awards, and winner of every Bulgarian honor possible, “The Physics of Sorrow” reaffirms Gospodinov’s place as one of Europe’s most inventive and daring writers.
Using the myth of the Minotaur as its organizing image, the narrator of Gospodinov’s long-awaited novel constructs a labyrinth of stories about his family, jumping from era to era and viewpoint to viewpoint, exploring the mindset and trappings of Eastern Europeans.
Incredibly moving, such as with the story of his grandfather accidentally being left behind at a mill, and extraordinarily funny, see the section on the awfulness of the question, “How are you?” “Physics” is a book that you can inhabit, tracing connections, following the narrator down various “side passages,” getting pleasantly lost in the various stories and empathizing with the sorrowful, misunderstood Minotaur at the center of it all.
Like the work of Dave Eggers, Tom McCarthy and Dubravka Ugresic, “The Physics of Sorrow” draws you in with its unique structure, humanitarian concerns and stunning storytelling.
The New York Times described the publication as “a quirky, compulsively readable book that deftly hints at the emptiness and sadness at its core.”
Gospodinov is the most translated and internationally awarded Bulgarian writer after 1989 and one of the leading voices of European literature today.