THE LOST PAGES by Mar­ija Per­ičić, Allen & Un­win.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - FILM MAKER -

This de­but novel from Mar­ija Per­ičić is also this year’s win­ner of The Aus­tralian/ Vo­gel’s pres­ti­gious Lit­er­ary Award. Set in Prague in the early 1900s, The Lost Pages pur­ports to be a newly dis­cov­ered mem­oir of Franz Kafka’s friend, fel­low writer and lit­er­ary ex­ecu­tor Max Brod. But this is no dry ex­plo­ration of the facts; it soars into an imag­i­na­tive and Kafkaesque story of envy, mad­ness, and iden­tity. Un­like Kafka, Max Brod is not hand­some, charm­ing or tal­ented, and when he reads his ri­val’s ex­cep­tional sto­ries he feels “a slow hor­ror”, and a “ter­ri­fy­ing abyss” opens in front of him. The ten­sion that per­vades the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two lit­er­ary men be­comes in­tense and ra­di­ates doom. This in­ter­pre­ta­tion of events is so orig­i­nal it’s grat­i­fy­ingly im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict its sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion.

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