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My First Suicideby Jerzy Pilch
Synopses & Reviews
Neither strictly a collection of stories nor a novel, the ten pieces that comprise My First Suicide straddle the line between intimate revelation and drunken confession. By turns nostalgic and poetic, these stories combine irony and humor, anecdote and gossip, love and desire with an irresistibly readable style that is vintage Pilch.
"With his latest, Pilch (A Thousand Peaceful Cities) masterfully negotiates sentiment with a clear-eyed vision of his autobiographical narrator's shortcomings and disappointments, suggesting a Dubliners set in Krakow. Ten sections that walk a precarious line between short story and chapter chronicle the disappointments of the modern urban man. Many of them deal with thwarted plans, such as when Piotr, a moderately famous writer, recollects his first suicide attempt from a distance of 40 years. Balancing the innocent insight of his 12-year-old self with the awareness of the present, he recounts his decision to jump from his parents' apartment. In a later section, Piotr meets a moderately famous model. 'When great love comes along,' he notes after fumbling his come-on, 'a person always thinks he has fallen in love with the most beautiful woman in the world. But when a person has fallen in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, he can have problems'; as this section and others demonstrate, the problems are often different from what one expects. When Piotr tells the model that he's working on a 'collection of short stories of a different sort,' she ridicules the notion. Pilch's readers will feel quite differently." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Ten connected stories about life in Poland that straddle the line between intimate revelation and drunken confession.
About the Author
Jerzy Pilch is one of Poland's most important contemporary writers. In addition to his long-running satirical newspaper column, Pilch has published several novels, and has been nominated for Poland's NIKE Literary Award four times; he finally won the Award in 2001 for The Mighty Angel.
David Frick is a professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley.
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