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Flights (Hardcover)

Flights Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Translated by)
$26.00
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Description


2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
AS FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

A visionary work of fiction by "A writer on the level of W. G. Sebald" (Annie Proulx)

"A magnificent writer." --Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize-winning author of Secondhand Time

"A beautifully fragmented look at man's longing for permanence.... Ambitious and complex." --Washington Post


From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin's heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, Flights explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you going? we call to the traveler. Enchanting, unsettling, and wholly original, Flights is a master storyteller's answer.

About the Author


Olga Tokarczuk is one of Poland's most celebrated and beloved authors, a winner of the Man Booker International Prize, as well as her country's highest literary honor, the Nike. She is the author of eight novels and two short story collections, and has been translated into a dozen languages. Her work has appeared in n +1, BOMB, and Asymptote.

Praise For…


Praise for Flights:

“[Tokarczuk] seems to pour the contents of her incandescent mind onto the page.... Some bits read like campfire tales — stories of an inebriated, Moby-Dick-quoting ferryboat captain gone rogue on his daily route, or a foolish prince straight out of Arabian Nights.... Taken all together, Flights has the quality of a dream.... It’s magical: electrifying, strange, and sensationally alive.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A revelation … Flights is a witty, imaginative, hard-to-classify work that is in the broadest sense about travel…. In this risky, restlessly mercurial book, [Tokarczuk has] found a way of turning…philosophy into writing that doesn't just take flight but soars.” – NPR’s “Fresh Air”

“Her discerning eye shakes things up, in the same way that her book scrambles conventional forms... Like her characters, our narrator is always on the move, and is always noticing and theorizing, often brilliantly.” —The New Yorker 

“[There's] no better travel companion in these turbulent, fanatical times.” —The Guardian

“A beautifully fragmented look at man’s longing for permanence … ambitious and complex.” —Washington Post

“[A]n intellectual revelation… Flights seeks out bridges between the concepts of cosmopolitanism and cultural hybridity; between discoveries of affection and curiosity toward unknown cultures, and toward the intrinsic multiplicity of one’s own place of origin.” Boston Review

“An unclassifiable medley of linked fictions and essays.… Reading it is like being a passenger on a long trip.... It’s amusing, exciting.... It moves... to moments of intense interest and beauty.” Wall Street Journal

“Provide[s] food for thought about what makes us move and what makes us tick.… Travel may broaden the mind, but this travel-themed book stimulates it.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“This hypnotizing new novel about travel, movement, and the complexities of distance deserves a place on every bookshelf. It already brings with it heaps of praise—it won the Man Booker International Prize this year—but awards or no, readers should approach Flights with wide open minds and discover the book’s profound meditations for themselves.” Southern Living

“Prescient, provocative, and furiously comic.” —The New Statesman

“Travel writing usually presents a linear narrative—as departures and returns easily correspond with beginnings and endings. But Tokarczuk complicates this. Her characters, like the book’s episodic structure, resist neat demarcations. They prefer to wander in loops and circles…The book is like a map: including disparate parts not because they cause or connect to each other, but because their contours help clarify a wider, impersonal whole. In this way, Tokarczuk shows that even the loneliest traveler fits into a bigger scheme.” Bookforum

“Take the time to settle into this unconventional narrative that is by turns startling, moving and profound.” Dallas Morning News

“These fragments seamlessly shift from first-person narration to third-person points of view, reflecting not only the associative mind of poetry or the magpie mind of the traveller, but also the cumulative state of the storyteller, where scene upon scene creates paths further. Despite the novel’s own claim to refute unity, Flights coheres because of the voice of its narrator: an unassuming, humorous, and curious voice, ever willing to change and bring the world into its own palimpsest of worlds, regardless of genre, subject, time, or place.”Chicago Review of Books

“The book pinwheels from somber to wryly funny to frantic with ease, and the myriad tones work together to build a layered, thought-provoking text…Tokarczuk’s writing is endlessly penetrating and revelatory.”Music & Literature
 
“[Flights] deftly explores, in limpid, captivating vignettes, the spaces we inhabit—bodies, geographies, the expanse of the page—and the loves, fears, and wonder that inhabit us.”Literary Hub
 
“[A] novel on the increasing mobility of 21st-century life, those who isolate themselves, who want to limit their movement and interactions with others, are only living half a life. Everybody is part of a worldwide network of beings, a worldwide live chain, dependent on people they will never meet for everyday necessities, whether they acknowledge it or not. … Whereas what lingers of Sebald’s works are the emotions he conjures up, what lingers of Tokarczuk are her ideas.” —The Millions

“This host of haunting narratives teases the mind and taunts the soul... exhilarating.” —Library Journal


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525534198
ISBN-10: 0525534199
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: August 14th, 2018
Pages: 416
Language: English