Synopses & Reviews
Composed of seven dark tales, A Tomb for Boris Davidovich presents variations on the theme of political and social self-destruction throughout Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. The characters in these stories are caught in a world of political hypocrisy, which ultimately leads to death, their common fate. Although the stories Kis tells are based on historical events, the beauty and precision of his prose elevates these ostensibly true stories into works of literary art that transcend the politics of their time.
-- A jailed man watches his persecutors kill a man a day until he confesses to a crime he did not commit; a bloodbath ensues when a fourteenth-century Jew refuses to repent his faith; the editor of an Ukrainian paper impersonates a priest to prove to a visiting writer the existence of religious ceremonies under the Soviet regime. Juxtaposing journalistic prose with high lyricism, historical figures and invented situations, this grisly book is "a stunning statement on political persecution" (World Literature Today).
"Kis is one of the handful of incontestably major writers of the second half of the century . . . Danilo Kis preserves the honor of literature."--Partisan Review
About the Author
Danilo Kis was one of Serbia's most influential writers and the author of several novels and short-story collections, including A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, The Encyclopedia of the Dead, and Hourglass. In 1980 Kis was awarded the Grand Aigle d'Or from the city of Nice. He died in 1989 at the age of 54.William T. Vollmann is the author of The Atlas (winner of the 1997 PEN Center West Award), Seven Dreams: A Book of North American Landscapes, and Europe Central. His nonfiction includes Rising Up and Rising Down which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003.