Translated from the French by Svetlana Pironko, in collaboration with Dimitri Bortnikov
Betimes Books are proud to publish this year the first English translation of a work by Dimitri Bortnikov, an outstanding Russian-born French writer whose literary career to-date is impressive and whose future is undoubtedly full of promise.
Soul Catcher (original title: “Repas de morts” – “The Supper of the Dead”) was originally published in France in 2011 by Editions Allia to overwhelming critical acclaim and was also translated into Italian.
Cover art: “Manicomio” © Grégory Morizeau 2018, with his gracious permission
About Dimitri Bortnikov
Interview with Dimitri Bortnikov and Svetlana Pironko about the translation of Soul Catcher
“A modern Inferno.” —Les Inrocks
“This sublime text has rhythmic power, incantatory energy, insolent humour.” —Le Monde
“This strange novel – partly autobiographical – is built as a succession of reminiscences and dreamlike images of the steppe, the tundra and Paris. But no matter what the story is – what matters here is the power of his writing, harsh and infused with venomous poetry.” —L’Express
“A masterpiece. It happens sometimes that a text, from the first sentence, puts you into a state of astonishment that will not leave you until the end and convinces you that you are reading one of those major works of fiction that will mark you forever.” —TechnikArt
“Better than a novel, a long feverish blues full of ghosts, sorrows and hungry dogs. We get lost, we drown, and we don’t care…” —Le Nouvel Observateur
“In the tradition of Céline, Calaferte et Jauffret, Bortnikov signs a literary objet that is truly disconcerting, carried by a bitter, syncopated language that devours everything along the way. … Iconoclastic.” —Lire Magazine
“Dazzlingly inventive.” —Le Télérama
“…the writing here is what stays with you when you read it. In a sense, the narrative is palying second fiddle to the power of the prose, which is unlike anything I’ve read before.” —Neil G., Reviewer, 4* NetGalley.com
“Soul Catcher demands the reader’s full and unadulterated attention. It is a challenging read. At times, a surreal stream of consciousness, hurled at the reader with buzz-saw sentences, filled with ferocious poetry. The rhythmic, vibrant translation by Svetlana Pironko, in collaboration with the author, makes this Bortnikov’s first novel in the English language a major event in publishing. Applause to Betimes Books for their courageous and tireless efforts in bringing this major novel to readers around the world. It is destined to become a modern classic.” —Marvin Minkler, Modern First Editions
“Somewhere between poetry, autobiography, and fiction, reading this book is like being strapped in for a ride through the peaks and troughs of the human soul. I was completely entranced… couldn’t put it down and read it in one go. The language is harsh and vivid and almost hallucinatory at times. The translator has done an excellent job bringing this strange and brilliant voice to the English language—I’ve never read anything like it before.” —Amazon UK 5* review, NetGalley.com
Thanks to the Embassy of France in Ireland and the Institut français for their support
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