In the Name of the Father and Other Stories
Balla is often described as "the Slovak Kafka" for his depictions of the absurd and the mundane. In the Name of the Father features a nameless narrator reflecting on his life, looking for someone else to blame for his failed relationship with his parents and two sons, his serial adultery, the breakup of his marriage and his wife's descent into madness. Against the backdrop of their stiflingly grey provincial lives, he completely fails to act against "the thing" growing in the cellar of the house he built with his brother. The book won numerous awards in Slovakia and in this edition is accompanied by three additional short stories, which share its unique dark humour, satire and truth.
- Hardback | 144 pages
- 131 x 208 x 19mm | 1,995.81g
- 28 Aug 2017
- Jantar Publishing Ltd
- Folkestone, United Kingdom
'This beautifully produced volume, containing the title novella and three short stories, gives a useful introduction to a writer who epitomizes the generation that came of age during the period of post-communist transition.' - Charles Sabatos, LA Review of Books;'Balla loves the absurd and mysterious, is a master of magic realism and postmodernism, and, most importantly, is able "to express the unspeakable" with frankness unprecedented in Slovak literature.' - Zuzana Slobodova, Times Literary Supplement; 'I loved this book. Bizarre and beautiful, intense and passionate, the writing is so fresh.' - Rosie Goldsmith, Director of the European Literature Network; 'Reading Balla is like getting on a roller coaster and behaving in an age-appropriate manner: you never know what's coming, you scream and shout, now in fear, now in joy.' - Gabor Nemeth, Hungarian author; In the Name of the Father was voted Book of the Year by the Slovak daily SME in December 2012 and won the 2012 Anasoft Litera Prize, Slovakia's most prestigious award for an original work of fiction; One of World Literature Today's Notable Translations of 2017
Balla (1967), who goes only by his surname, has been called "the Slovak Kafka", "the chief alchemist of Slovak literature" and "the uncrowned king of Slovak outsiders and misfits". He has published ten books, mostly short fiction and his works have been translated into English, German, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene and Serbian. The novella In the Name of the Father was voted Book of the Year by the Slovak daily SME in 2012 and in the same year awarded both the Tatrabanka Foundation Art Prize for Literature and Anasoft Litera Prize.