by Mircea Cartarescu

$37.95 ISBN: 9781646052028

WINNER of the Dublin Literary Award 2024 and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2022

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022 by the New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, The Financial Times, Words Without Borders

A highly-acclaimed master work of fiction from Mircea Cărtărescu, author of Blinding, Solenoid is an existence (and eventually a cosmos) created by forking paths.

Based on Cărtărescu's own experience as a high school teacher, Solenoid begins with the mundane details of a diarist's life and quickly spirals into a philosophical account of life, history, philosophy, and mathematics. The novel is grounded in the reality of Romania in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including frightening health care, the absurdities of the education system, and the misery of family life, while on a broad scale Solenoid's investigations of other universes, dimensions, and timelines attempt to reconcile the realms of life and art. The text includes sequences in a tuberculosis preventorium, encounters with an anti-death protest movement, a society of dream investigators, and an extended visit to the miniscule world of dust mites living on a microscope slide. One character asks another: When you rush into the burning building, will you save the newborn or the artwork?

Combining fiction with autobiography and history—Nikola Tesla and Charles Hinton, for example, appear alongside the Voynich manuscript—Solenoid searches for escape routes through the alternate dimensions of life and art, as various monstrous realities erupt within the present.


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