Flights is a majestic argosy of compassion for those who are driven by the impulse to flee, vanish, or escape in defiance of our shared and fallible vessel, the human body. Tokarczuk links motion with mortality throughout, taking sprightly turns between evaluations of airport psychology and grisly depictions of preserved limbs suspended in jars of formaldehyde. What remains is an unmistakable admiration for a kind of ambulatory soul-searching, a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other auditing of nomadic predilections and the pursuit of preservation. A luminous success. Recommended By Justin W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE
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.
"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 disorienting, intelligent, and unforgettable book." Bustle
"It's a busy, beautiful vexation, this novel, a quiver full of fables of pilgrims and pilgrimages, and the reasons — the hidden, the brave, the foolhardy — we venture forth into the world ...In Jennifer Croft's assured translation, each self-enclosed account is tightly conceived and elegantly modulated, the language balletic, unforced." The New York Times
"An 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
"This host of haunting narratives teases the mind and taunts the soul... exhilarating." Library Journal
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.