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The Museum of Unconditional Surrender
by Dubravka Ugrešić, Celia Hawkesworth
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- Genres: fiction, literature, novels, war, womens, contemporary
- ISBN: 9780811214933 (0811214931)
- Language: english
- Places: Berlin, Yugoslavia
- Format: paperback, 256 pages
- Author: Dubravka Ugrešić, Celia Hawkesworth
- Release date: February 17, 2002
- Publisher: New Directions
About The Book
The Museum of Unconditional Surrender — by the renowned Yugoslavian writer Dubravka Ugresic — begins in the Berlin Zoo, with the contents of Roland the Walrus’s stomach displayed beside his pool (Roland died in August, 1961). These objects — a cigarette lighter, lollipop sticks, a beer-bottle opener, etc. — like the fictional pieces of the novel itself, are seemingly random at first, but eventually coalesce, meaningfully and poetically.
Written in a variety of literary forms, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender captures the shattered world of living in exile. Some chapters re-create the daily journal of the narrator’s lonely and alienated mother, who shops at the improvised flea-markets in town and longs for her children; another is a dream-like narrative in which a circle of women friends are visited by an angel. There are reflections and accounts of the Holocaust and the Yugoslav Civil War; portraits of European artists; a recipe for Caraway Soup; a moving story of a romantic encounter the narrator has in Lisbon; descriptions of family photographs; memories of the small town in which Ugresic was raised.
Addressing the themes of art and history, aging and loss, The Museum is a haunting and an extremely original novel. In the words of the Times Literary Supplement, « it is vivid in its denunciation of destructive forces and in its evocation of what is at stake. »
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