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Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Olga Tokarczuk

  • awardShortlisted, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Literature Prize, 2019
  • awardShortlisted, Man Booker International Prize, United Kingdom, 2019
  • Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

     A subversive, entertaining noir novel from the winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize.

    Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead takes place in a remote Polish village, where Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, she becomes involved in the investigation. Duszejko is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she’s unconventional, believing in the stars, and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken.

    Filled with wonderful characters like Oddball, Big Foot, Black Coat, Dizzy and Boros, this subversive, entertaining noir novel, by ‘one of Europe’s major humanist writers’ (Guardian), offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, injustice against marginalised people, animal rights, the hypocrisy of traditional religion, belief in predestination—and getting away with murder.


    INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS

    AU Review: ‘Darkly funny, politically charged, fiercely feminist, and occasionally just a little bit weird, and it’s a wonderful salute to both Lloyd-Jones’ sensitive translation and Tokarczuk’s outspoken beliefs.’
    Big Issue
    : ‘
    Entering Mrs. Duszejko’s rich, eccentric world is like waking up in Oz, or falling into Wonderland. Everything, from the unreliable mobile phone signal to the patterns of the wind, is attributed character and motivation, so that the whole universe shimmers with intent, agency and hidden meaning.’
    Economist: ‘Sardonic humour and gothic plot-twists add a layer of macabre rustic comedy. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, an outstanding Polish-English translator, sculpts Janina’s English voice (complete with Blakean capitalisations) with panache.’  ‘An astonishing amalgam of thriller, comedy and political treatise, written by a woman who combines an extraordinary intellect with an anarchic sensibility.’
    Irish Times: ‘Antonia Lloyd-Jones...has once again done a remarkable job of capturing the uncanny distinction of Tokarczuk’s prose in English. There is much to admire in this book and even more to learn.’
    The Monthly
    New Statesman: ‘Translated with virtuosic precision and wit by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Tokarczuk’s prescient, provocative and furiously comic fiction seethes with a Blakean conviction of the cleansing power of rage: the vengeance of the weak when justice is denied.’
    PS News
    Times ($): ‘Not your typical crime fiction...especially as each chapter carries an epigraph from William Blake.’
    Review 31
    Tony‘s Reading List
    Saturday Paper ($): ‘The extraordinary pleasure of reading this book lies not in finding out “who did it”, but in the defamiliarising prose, characterisation, observation and philosophy that emerge from each page...Tokarczuk’s style, combining wit, uncanny metaphor, biological truth and metaphysical profundity, is unique. Her books reveal just how good literature can be.’
    Spinoff: Papercuts podcast (0:20:50) 
    Stuff, Books of the Week, December 29, 2018: ‘Skilfully translated by prize winning Antonia Lloyd-Jones, the book illustrates the manipulative, political power of word and phrasing.’
    Warren Ellis’s blog: ‘It’s a crime story. It’s also a study in isolation and mental illness. And a masterclass in literary eccentricity...There’s nothing else quite like it.’


    Olga Tokarczuk
    About the Author

    Olga Tokarczuk is one of Poland’s best and most beloved authors. In 2015 she received the Brueckepreis and the prestigious annual literary award from Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as Poland’s highest literary honor, the Nike, and the Nike Readers’ Prize. Tokarczuk also received a Nike in 2009 for Flights.She is the...

    Read Moreright
    Extent:
    256pp
    Format:
    Paperback
    Text publication date:
    1 October 2018
    ISBN:
    9781925773088
    AU Price:
    $29.99
    NZ Price:
    $37.00
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    Praise for Olga Tokarczuk
    andDrive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

    ‘A magnificent writer.’

    ‘A strongly voiced existential thriller.’

    ‘A moral thriller that will keep you guessing until its very last page.’

    ‘This dazzling writer…feels the heartbeat of the natural world…one of the exhilarations of this novel is working through a complex truth about living among others.’

    ‘Antonia Lloyd-Jones…has once again done a remarkable job of capturing the uncanny distinction of Tokarczuk’s prose in English. There is much to admire in this book and even more to learn.’

    ‘Translated with virtuosic precision and wit by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Tokarczuk’s prescient, provocative and furiously comic fiction seethes with a Blakean conviction of the cleansing power of rage: the vengeance of the weak when justice is denied.’

    ‘Entering Mrs. Duszejko’s rich, eccentric world is like waking up in Oz, or falling into Wonderland. Everything, from the unreliable mobile phone signal to the patterns of the wind, is attributed character and motivation, so that the whole universe shimmers with intent, agency and hidden meaning.’

    ‘Tokarczuk’s style, combining wit, uncanny metaphor, biological truth and metaphysical profundity, is unique. Her books reveal just how good literature can be.’

    ‘An astonishing amalgam of thriller, comedy and political treatise, written by a woman who combines an extraordinary intellect with an anarchic sensibility.’

    ‘Sardonic humour and gothic plot-twists add a layer of macabre rustic comedy. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, an outstanding Polish-English translator, sculpts Janina’s English voice (complete with Blakean capitalisations) with panache.’

    ‘Not your typical crime fiction…especially as each chapter carries an epigraph from William Blake.‘

    Drive Your Plow casts a mythical spell over a chilly psychological thriller. It is so tantalisingly written, its developments so precisely but invisibly measured out, that I found myself far more likely to forget about the reviewing than the reading…a really good book can change the way we see things…Drive Your Plow unequivocally excels at this.’

    ‘[Flights is] a guide to living. Every word, observation, reflection and story embraces the importance of staying mobile in thought as much as in being…This is as brilliant and life-affirming as literature gets.’

    ‘A barbed, shrewd parodic eco-noir.’

    ‘Provocative and darkly comic fiction.’

    ‘It’s a crime story. It’s also a study in isolation and mental illness. And a masterclass in literary eccentricity…There’s nothing else quite like it.’

    ‘…darkly funny, politically charged, fiercely feminist, and occasionally just a little bit weird, and it’s a wonderful salute to both Lloyd-Jones’ sensitive translation and Tokarczuk’s outspoken beliefs.’

    ‘Skilfully translated by prize winning Antonia Lloyd-Jones, the book illustrates the manipulative, political power of word and phrasing.’

    ‘Olga Tokarczuk is a masterful storyteller who challenges expectations of what a story can be.’ 

    ‘[A] mordant mix of whodunit, astrology, and the poetry of William Blake.’

    ‘Ridiculous and existentially challenging by turns, this is a wildly inventive book.’

    ‘This book is a wild ride, full of harsh judgments and sharp-tongued language, until the surprise end.’

    Other editions ofDrive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
    • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
      ebook
      ISBN: 9781925774009
      1 October 2018
      Buy ebook
    Other Titles byOlga Tokarczuk