The Physics of Sorrow
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The Physics of Sorrow

4.17 (2,114 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

*Finalist for the 2015 PEN Literary Award* "Georgi Gospodinov wants to blow your mind--or maybe just provide the ultimate bathroom reader. . . . The formal playfulness suggests Kundera with A.D.D. and potty jokes."--Ed Park, The Village Voice A finalist for both the Strega Europeo and Gregor von Rezzori awards (and winner of every Bulgarian honor possible), The Physics of Sorrow reaffirms Georgi 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. The Physics of Sorrow will appeal to fans of Dave Eggers, Tom McCarthy, and Dubravka Ugresic for its unique structure, humanitarian concerns, and stunning storytelling. Georgi Gospodinov's Natural Novel was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2005 and was praised by the New Yorker, New York Times, and several other prestigious review outlets. Angela Rodel won a PEN Translation Fund Grant in 2010 for Georgi Tenev's short story collection. She is one of the most prolific translators of Bulgarian literature working today and received an NEA Fellowship for her translation of Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 137.16 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Open Letter
  • Rochester, NY, United States
  • English
  • 194095309X
  • 9781940953090
  • 147,045

Review quote

"A reinterpretation of ancient Greek myth, a celebration of story telling, a treatise on nostalgia and aging, a collection of insights into the nature of time, The Physics of Sorrow has it all."--Randy Rosenthal, Tweed's Mag "[The] real quest in The Physics of Sorrow is to find a way to live with sadness, to allow it to be a source of empathy and salutary hesitation... Chronicling everyday life in Bulgaria means trying to communicate Bulgarian "sadness," which is--to the extent that these things can be disentangled--as much a linguistic as a metaphysical dilemma" --Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker "Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow unites formal experimentation with emotional resonance in a compelling exploration of how and why humans tell stories ... Gospodinov ruminates on the mazelike structures of the human brain, of cities, and of books themselves ... [and] juxtaposes the grotesque and the beautiful... at once concrete and transcendent ... Both an intellectual game and a very human story, The Physics of Sorrow captivates."--Elizabeth C. Keto, The Harvard Crimson "Gospodinov's THE PHYSICS OF SORROW offers up a beautiful exploration of the inescapable maze-like nature of life. . . . [it] reminds us that we must never forget that we are not alone. We must never lose sense of who we are, who we were, where we come from, and where we're going. And we must never stop sharing the resulting stories of our wondrous explorations with the world at large because we must allow ourselves to feel everything or be doomed to feel nothing at all." --Aaron Westerman, Typographical Era "Gospodinov forces us to examine our own lives, expectations, and assumptions. He asks us to look outside of ourselves, to myth and family history and national history, to find meaning in a world that often seems cruel and cold. A mixture of grim humor, keen self-reflection, and even a bit of dogged optimism, The Physics of Sorrow is not to be missed." --Bookishly Witty "A time-traveling empath, [Gospodinov] uses story to call us to look beyond ourselves to what can root us and give our lives meaning in a world that can seem crushingly cold and cruel." --Kristine Morris, Foreward Reviewsshow more

About Georgi Gospodinov

Georgi Gospodinov was born in 1968 and is one of the most translated contemporary Bulgarian writers. His first novel, Natural Novel was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2005 and was praised by the New Yorker, New York Times, and several other prestigious review outlets. A collection of his short stories, And Other Stories was published by Northwestern University Press. The Physics of Sorrow is his second novel. Angela Rodel earned an M.A. in linguistics from UCLA and received a Fulbright Fellowship to study and learn Bulgarian. In 2010 she won a PEN Translation Fund Grant for Georgi Tenev's short story collection. She is one of the most prolific translators of Bulgarian literature working today and received an NEA Fellowship for her translation of Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow.show more

Rating details

2,114 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 47% (997)
4 31% (661)
3 15% (323)
2 4% (94)
1 2% (39)
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