Meet Janina. But please do not forget that she cannot tolerate her own name and that she prefers to name the people around her according to their personalities or physical characteristics. She lives alone in a small, rather remote Polish village maintaining several properties for people who have summer homes there. She dabbles in astrology, translates William Blake, and is an animal lover, and one day her two dogs do not come home. Around the same time a neighbor turns up dead. She is convinced that deer killed him in revenge for his hunting them. No one believes her and other victims are found with animal tracks nearby. Recommended By Paul S., Powells.com
Olga Tokarczuk knows how transfixing an unreliable narrator can be. In this novel, main character Janina fills her reclusive days by studying astrology, translating William Blake, raging against cruel animal hunting practices, and caretaking vacation properties in remote Poland. Janina's idiosyncrasies are somehow profoundly relatable. She's fascinating enough as is, but then a brilliant murder mystery weaves into her life. This novel's strange, snowy plot tumbles forth from there, finally reaching a profound conclusion. Recommended By Lindsay C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE
In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind...
A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate. Whom do we deem sane? it asks. Who is worthy of a voice?
"Drive Your Plow is exhilarating in a way that feels fierce and private, almost inarticulable; it's one of the most existentially refreshing novels I've read in a long time." The New Yorker
"A brilliant literary murder mystery." Chicago Tribune
"Extraordinary. Tokarczuk's novel is funny, vivid, dangerous, and disturbing, and it raises some fierce questions about human behavior. My sincere admiration for her brilliant work." Annie Proulx
About the Author
Olga Tokarczuk is one of Poland's most celebrated and beloved authors, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and 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 more than thirty languages.