Year of publication
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German sample translation
relationships, contemporary issues, social issues, moral issues, daily life
Among the Trees: 7 stories
by Jani Virk
The book brings together five stories framed by two short vignettes. The thread that weaves the stories together are breaking points in people's lives: subtle, barely audible cracks that significantly alter people’s lives or their perspectives of them. Virk’s characters are everymen, individuals with perfectly ordinary lives. Mirsad, whose dreams for his son are shattered by something he cannot understand; book editor Peter, whose life as he knew it is collapsing before his eyes with a new one overtaking it perhaps too quickly; driver Klavdij on his first trip abroad for a new company when a young refugee from Africa appears in his truck; a student of theology in London, whose guilt and fear of love propels him into the vortex of nightlife ...
Stories are seemingly unrelated, but it is not going to escape the attention of observant readers that the world is smaller than it seems and that there are ties connecting us in surprising ways.
With his habitual refined language, Virk brings his characters to the existential edge and subtly balances between the poetic and the absurd. And in doing so, he lays bare certain fundamental dilemmas of our time.
Shortlisted for the Njegoš Award 2017
Faced with Among the Trees, we again realize what a master of storytelling Jani Virk really is.
A physically diminutive book of short stories by Jani Virk, Among the Trees brings together all the baroque richness of the author’s writing. Virk slowly takes us ever deeper into his stories, written in long, poetic sentences. Although it’s clear that what we’re dealing with are short stories, our attention is grabbed by the rhythmic, flowing nature of the sentences that tells its own story.
Jani Virk gets inside his characters’ heads and listens closely to their feelings, particularly their pain.